This month, we commemorate and celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of women and honor the collective history that has been made by those who have sought relentlessly to bridge the chasm between the society we are and the one we aspire to be. As we reflect on the pervasive inequalities and inequities that continue to plague our society, we acknowledge the burdens of those who led the fight for women’s suffrage, education equality, economic and social justice, and the unrelenting quest to break the chains of patriarchy. We stand proudly with those in our City and our sector who now continue on this same, complicated path to liberation. This Women’s History Month – and every month – we seek to share stories too often untold about the extraordinary leadership, bravery, and sacrifice of women – especially women of color and LGBTQ women.
There is plenty to share as the month unfolds about the progress on this journey, in our sector and our State, but for right now, I can think of no better to start than to acknowledge our own Mrs. Gloria King, President of the Senior Center Membership and New Yorker of the Week.
New Yorker of the Week: Gloria King
By Pat Kiernan and Kristi Lee Neuberger, New York City
PUBLISHED 12:28 PM ET Mar. 01, 2021
Gloria King doesn’t leave her apartment much these days.
“I have my word find that I do,” King said.
At 89-years-old, she’s doing everything she can to remain healthy and active, but it’s tough.
“Because of COVID, I mainly stay here in my apartment,” King remarked.
It’s a big change for her. Before the pandemic, King would spend her days at Stanley Issacs Community Center, stuffing envelopes, rolling silverware, or helping wherever she saw a need. Now King is reaching out, in an old fashioned way.
“They’re always happy to get a call and know that I care,” King said.
King spends hours each day on the phone speaking with her fellow seniors. Blessing their days with grocery check-ins and cheerful conversation. King makes sure everyone is heard and that everyone has what they need.
“It always ends with me saying something to make them laugh, because I’m a firm believer that laughter is good for the soul,” King said.
“Calling and talking to all of them, it also takes my mind off of how I feel,” King commented.
King jokes that she’s become the center’s “Hotline” as seniors continue to struggle with loneliness during the pandemic. Especially with the difficulty seniors are having finding vaccine appointments.
“[They say] You know, just call Gloria cause she has the answers or she’ll get back to you right away with an answer,” King commented.
One thing she and the center members get excited about each year, King’s Black History Month celebration. But this year, she had to move the program online. Still, with careful planning and dedication the show will go on. Giving the other seniors more than just her phone call to look forward to.
For taking the time to lend an ear, Gloria King is our New Yorker of the Week.