Dec. 28—WILLMAR — NAMI Western Minnesota mental health support groups for families and peer-to-peer support will meet from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, at the Willmar Public Library. Family groups are led by trained facilitators who also have a family member with mental illness. The group helps families develop better coping skills and strength through sharing. It is sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. For more information, call
NAMI mental health classes: Free online mental health classes designed for family members and caregivers, persons living with a mental illness, service providers, and also the general public. Find a complete listing of these classes and how to join in by going to
and clicking on "Classes" under Education and Public Awareness.
The Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging provides advocacy, information, resources and assistance so that older adults can maintain the lifestyle of their choice. To learn more about this and other presentations and trainings MNRAAA has to offer, visit
Live chat with a specialist also can be accessed online at
SAIL: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., Willmar Community Center, free, all skill levels. The Staying Active & Independent for Life program relies upon weight training and balance exercises to protect against fractures caused by osteoporosis by increasing muscular strength, balance and bone density.
55+ Driver courses: This class offered through the Minnesota Highway Safety & Research Center will save you up to 10 percent on your auto insurance. Completion of an eight-hour course qualifies you for the discount. To maintain the discount, you must complete a four-hour refresher every three years. The course covers defensive-driving tips, changes in laws, vehicle technology, and traffic safety. It is also available online at
. Advance registration required, online at
. Classes set in the West Central Tribune area include
* Refresher course, Jan. 12, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., $24, Jefferson Learning Center, Willmar.
* First-time course: Jan. 13 and Jan. 16, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., $28, Jefferson Learning Center, Willmar.
* First-time course: March 9 and March 20, 5 to 9 p.m., $28, Jefferson Learning Center, Willmar.
Senior LinkAge Line: A free service of the Minnesota Board on Aging, the Senior LinkAge Line is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program and Senior Medicare Patrol for Minnesota. Older adults can contact the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays to receive help with questions involving Medicare and health insurance, help finding services to stay in one's home or help to afford medication. Be sure to have a complete list of prescription drugs and dosages.
Disability Hub MN: A free statewide resource network that helps solve problems, navigate the system and plan for the future. The team knows the ins and outs of community resources and government programs, and has years of experience helping people fit them together. Call 1-866-333-2466 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or find email and live chat options at
Coffee Talk: This statewide phone chat line for older adults is open from 8 a.m. to noon weekdays. Call toll-free at 877-238-2282. It is staffed by volunteers who understand the older adult population's needs and challenges and is dedicated to easing loneliness and social isolation among older adults. Volunteers can offer words of encouragement and understanding and provide information about support and resources available in the person's community. Calls are free. The caller's privacy is a priority, and the only information requested will be first name. Users of the line may call as often as they would like.
LSS Meals on Wheels: Hot Meals on Wheels are delivered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. A frozen meal is available for the following day or the weekend. The meals are available for persons who are unable to cook for themselves due to their age, disability, illness or recent release from the hospital. Along with the regular meal, two special diet meals are available. The cost is $8.75 and includes milk. Those 60 and over may contact LSS to see if they qualify for a reduced price. Order by noon the weekday before the delivery day by calling 320-737-0985. The menu is available on the website
Willmar Senior Dining: The meals are served at 11:30 a.m. weekdays and are also available for curbside pickup at the Community Center. The meals are open to those who are 60 years of age and older. Suggested donation of $5 a meal. Call 320-262-5288 by noon the day before and leave a message. The menu is available on the city of Willmar website
under Community Center.
Lutheran Social Service: Frozen, shipped meals are available for older adults statewide through the LSS Meals to Go service. Each shipment includes 14 frozen meals and the cost is about $9 per meal, which includes the shipping cost. The cost is covered for Minnesotans who use one of five waiver programs. Meals are also available to anyone in Minnesota who could benefit from healthy meals shipped directly to their homes. Order meals on the website
or call 800-488-4146.
The American Red Cross conducts blood drives in the west central area. To give blood you must be at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. You can give blood every 56 days. Double red cells can be donated every 112 days. While all blood types are needed, type O and type B-negative donors are especially encouraged to give.
Appointments can be made at 1-800-RED-CROSS or online at www.redcrossblood.org. All donors need acceptable identification. The preferred form is a government-issued picture identification, such as a driver's license, or a Red Cross blood donor card. Otherwise you will need to provide two other forms of identification, such as a work identification, Social Security card, personal check or credit card. Personalized mail such as a utility bill will not be accepted.
Blood drives scheduled for the Tribune area are:
Dec. 28, New London: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Open Door Christian Church
Dec. 29, Willmar: 1 to 7 p.m., First Presbyterian Church
Jan. 3, Sacred Heart: 1 to 7 p.m., Community Center
Jan. 4, Granite Falls: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Prairie's Edge Casino
Jan. 9, Bird Island: 1 to 6 p.m., Our Savior's Lutheran Church
Jan 9, Willmar: 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Assembly of God
Jan. 10, Appleton: Noon to 6 p.m., Appleton Area Health
Jan. 17, Glenwood: Noon to 6 p.m., Glenwood Lutheran Church
Jan. 17, Willmar: 1 to 7 p.m., Eagle Lake Lutheran Church
Jan. 23, Willmar: Noon to 6 p.m., American Legion
Jan. 24, Spicer: Noon to 6 p.m., Faith Lutheran Church
Jan. 24, Granite Falls: 1 to 7 p.m., Kilowatt Center
Jan. 25, Granite Falls: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Kilowatt Center
Jan. 25, Clara City: 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., Community Center
Jan. 25, Hancock: Noon to 6 p.m., Hancock School
Jan. 26, Atwater: 1 to 7 p.m., Community Center
Jan. 26, Danube: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Community Center
Jan. 26, Montevideo: 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., Training and Community Center
Jan. 27, Willmar: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., YMCA
Jan. 30, Willmar: 1 to 6 p.m., Vinje Lutheran Church