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Brownsville Silver Seniors Building Strong Community While Serving Others

They may call themselves the Brownsville Silver Seniors, but this growing group of strong, supportive and fun women represents much more than just the Brownsville community.

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Meeting at Escambia County’s Brownsville Community Center twice a week, the close-knit group of women ages 55 and over includes members from throughout the county, including Beulah, Bellview, Ensley, Ferry Pass, Warrington, Eastside, Westside, and of course – Brownsville.

The Brownsville Silver Seniors began meeting in January 2023, quickly growing from a small group of about 10 members to more than 50 members in less than a year.

Anyone 55 and older is welcome to join the Brownsville Silver Seniors, which offers a variety of activities for seniors including games, crafts, exercises, karaoke, prayer and devotional time, birthday and holiday parties, luncheons, outings, and much more. Although their membership is currently only women, President Callie Moye said men are more than welcome.

“We do a lot of great things here,” Moye said. “I think once people come – one day they come in and say they just want to check us out, and at the end of the day, they’re ready to join.”

Their overall goal is to enhance the lives of senior adults, along with the lives of anyone they interact with, while spreading kindness and positivity wherever they go. The Brownsville Silver Seniors are becoming a recognizable positive force in the community, often spotted in their golden yellow t-shirts while visiting local churches, volunteering, or attending community events.

“We are so fortunate to have such a strong, spirited group of women bringing life into the Brownsville Community Center and into our entire community,” District 3 Commissioner Lumon May said. “These ladies have a wealth of knowledge and history in the greater Pensacola and Escambia County area, and I am incredibly proud to be able to host them each week at the Brownsville Community Center. The Silver Seniors have already brightened our community significantly in their first year, and I am excited to see what they do in the future as they continue to grow.”

The mission statement of the Brownsville Silver Seniors is “To provide senior adults with fun and positive opportunities to fellowship, respect, encourage, love, and uplift one another through peaceful interactions for improved and enhanced lives in a safe and nurturing environment.”

Moye said faith plays a significant role in the Silver Seniors’ mission, and they strive to provide a fun, supportive atmosphere for seniors each time they meet.

“We try to put God first in just about everything that we do here, and we base it on love,” Moye said. “We try to show one another love. The main thing is because the women, the seniors, they’re home within their communities, they’re lonely, they don’t have anything to do. So when they come out, we want to have some sisterhood that we can just embrace each other and just have fun and enjoy each other.”

The Silver Seniors have already built a strong sisterhood, with members supporting each other through sickness and loss, while also celebrating the good times together along the way.

“It is a beautiful thing, because we do support each other,” member Angelena LeRoy said. “When one hurts, we all hurt. When one has joy, we all have joy. So we have really created a bond here that no one can replace.”

As the group continues to grow, one of their main goals is to find more ways to give back to the community, whether it’s through mentorships or just lending a helping hand wherever they can.

The Brownsville Silver Seniors recently began their first mentorship for a young mother who was living on the streets with her five small children, in need of everything from housing to socks for her babies. Together, the seniors were able to provide her with a carload of diapers, clothes, and other essential items, also helping her find housing and a job.

“Meeting the young lady, we could tell she was down on her luck – but she was so appreciative,” member Lee Snow said. “One thing we learned when talking to her is that she’s a very smart young lady that had just run into hard times. So those are the kind of things that we are trying to do. She just needed someone to show her some love.”

The Silver Seniors will continue following up with the mother to mentor her and make sure she meets the goals they set together to help her and her children have a better future.

“It was and is, for us, an act of love and giving back to our community,” member Vinesta Lyles said. “And of course, we are females, we are Black women, and we have come through some hard times. So we understand, and we are willing to reach out and to give a hand up.”

As they approach their one-year anniversary and look to the future of the Brownsville Silver Seniors, the members plan to continue to offer fun activities, along with new additions such as technology classes to help seniors with computers and smartphones. But most importantly, they want to keep giving back and making a difference in the community.

“When people see us out there with those yellow shirts, they recognize us, and they know we are out there for a good cause,” Snow said.

The Brownsville Silver Seniors meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Brownsville Community Center, located at 3200 W. De Soto St. Anyone 55 and older is welcome.

To learn more about the Brownsville Community Center and all Escambia County community centers, visit the Escambia County website. For more information about Brownsville Community Center programming, events or partnerships, please call 850-426-1156.