“I was like a bird let out of a dark little cage and my world became as bright as the shinning sun.” -Lula, age 91

“I was like a bird let out of a dark little cage and my world became as bright as the shinning sun.” -Lula, age 91

At 91, Lula has no plans to slow down. She cooks, cleans, and tends to the vegetable garden behind her little home in the Fountain Square neighborhood, where she’s lived since moving to Indiana in 1954. Even though she’s legally blind, Lula leads a full social life, attending church and enjoying senior programs at The Salvation Army’s Fountain Square Corps Community Center.

Seeing Lula today, one would never guess that just three years ago she lived an isolated existence, homebound and struggling with failing eyesight and the loss of her husband of over 50 years.

“I was someone who didn’t go nowheres,” Lula says, remembering what life was like before becoming involved in the senior programs at The Salvation Army. “Now I’ve met so many nice people. Of course, they all now call me Grandma!” she says with a giggle and a nod to Lieutenant Megan Lewis, one of her many new friends.

Lt. Megan smiles back, happy that her work with seniors like “Grandma” Lula is making such an impact in the community. Activities at the corps help seniors in her neighborhood get the exercise and social interaction they need to keep aging bodies and minds engaged. “Lula is the sweetest woman,” Lt. Megan says with a wink. “She always comes in with a smile, ready for whatever we have planned!”

Lula on a recent shoe shopping trip with others Fountain Square Corps seniors

Lula on a recent shoe shopping trip with others Fountain Square Corps seniors

In addition to new friendships, Lula has also enjoyed many new adventures, from senior exercise sessions and meals out to her first visit to the Indiana State Fair. “It was fun. We rode the train!” Lula exclaims with a laugh, her face split by a wide smile. “I started going everywhere. I couldn’t have done it without my folks at The Salvation Army. They’ve been so good to me.”

Lula even tried her hand at jewelry making, something that she never would have imagined doing with her poor eyesight. She quickly caught on, deftly stringing beads and creating beautiful pieces to share. With each passing week and enriching experience, Lula’s health and mobility improved, allowing her to maintain her treasured independence a little longer.

Thanks to the support of our central Indiana community, programs like these can continue to offer the spiritual nourishment, fellowship opportunities, and engaging activities that brighten our seniors’ days.