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Johnson County Senior Services celebrates 45 years of serving the Southside

Johnson County Senior Services celebrates 45 years of serving the Southside

Forty-five years ago, a group of citizens gathered to meet in a Franklin church to discuss how they could best help local seniors in need. “At that time, it was the need for transportation,” said 

Kimberly Smith, executive director of Johnson County Senior Services.

The nonprofit Johnson County Senior Services was born from that meeting. Today, 8,700 individuals are served monthly through the Whiteland agency’s food pantry, donated medical equipment, and more. Transportation for life-saving treatment and for medical and non-medical appointments continues to be the greatest need, and Johnson County Senior Services has been the only free door-to-door transportation provider for over four decades.

“Sadly, older adults are the most underfunded, underserved, and most unappreciated demographic throughout our county and beyond,” said Smith. “It is heart-wrenching daily to see so many suffering from isolation, loneliness, and depression.”

Smith has a genuine passion for serving seniors in need. “I feel humbled and honored daily to serve this precious generation that has taken up residence in my heart,” she said. “Enhancing their quality of life is paramount!”

The agency celebrated their 45th anniversary on April 5 with an open house and ribbon cutting.

A Q&A with Kimberly Smith

How has the facility grown through the years?


The principal program of Johnson County Senior Services is providing door-to-door wheelchair accessible transportation for individuals 60 years of age and older at no charge. Year-end 2023, the agency logged 7,995 passenger trips. 

Food Pantry

The agency maintains a food pantry of nonperishable food items and household items to help supplement food and needed essentials not only for seniors, but also to anyone in need, and is the only agency in the county that delivers pantry food items to the homes of food insecure individuals. The agency provides food to emergency pantries throughout the county. Year-end 2023 the agency distributed $999,000 in pantry food items to individuals in need and at risk. 

Durable Medical Equipment 

The agency also has a pay-it-forward Durable Medical Equipment (DME) program and receives donated supplies and durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, shower seats, canes, and bedside commodes etc.in good condition. The DME is then given to seniors in need, at no charge. The agency also provides supplies such as incontinence items, personal products, and toiletries, etc. to seniors in need. Year-end 2023 the agency distributed 3,310 pieces of DME and over 4,410 packages of incontinence protection.  

Seniors Still Believe

Many seniors throughout Johnson County suffer from isolation, loneliness, depression, and serious illnesses. Many live alone and have lost their spouses and have no family. This program allows us to partner with many companies and residents, who chose to make a positive difference in the lives of 3,429 seniors with gifts to help brighten their 2023 holiday season.  

Information and Assistance  

We receive calls daily requesting information regarding health and human services. In addition, assistance to enhance the quality of life is also among the many calls received.  

Sharing pertinent information to seniors is also made possible through many speaking engagements throughout the year to the faith community, senior events, senior living communities including Section 8 properties, civic organizations, and fundraising events.

The agency responded to 29,587 walk-ins, incoming calls, and speaking engagements in 2023.  


The PAWSitivity initiative was born out of the great need for older adults to have support in place for their “fur babies” to receive necessary items. It was on the heart of Mike Clark, deputy director for Johnson County Animal Control, to enter into a partnership with Johnson County Senior Services to maximize opportunities for donations. 

In the fourth quarter of 2023 when the partnership began, it resulted in 998 individuals served, distributing 52,165 pounds of dog food, cat food, and cat litter, treats, and miscellaneous items, a total of 12,165 items.

What are your short- and long-term goals for the agency?

Short-term we would love to raise the funds to purchase the adjoining property to our building. Long-term our heart is to raise funds to build a community center/venue that would be a blessing to our community as well as to other not-for profits to host fundraisers, events, meetings, and a variety of other opportunities.

Tell us about the anniversary and ribbon cutting ceremony.

We were so blessed to have over 245 individuals join us in the celebration! Special thanks to Chick-Fil-A for their incredible generosity. Also blessed by Tonda Burgin, owner of Life Vantage Farms & McQualla Carriages (Lily the unicorn was a beautiful addition to the celebration), Heather & Lee Thompson for Sponsoring The Tin Willow (its vintage rustic charm was a showstopper as it debuted in our county), and Kim Holt with Petro’s Culligan. Thank you all for your generous donations!

Our deep appreciation to County Commissioner Ron West, Dan Cartwright- Bargersville Town Manager, Carmen Young -Whiteland Town Manager, Kevin McGinnis – Edinburgh Town Manager, Rosie Chambers- Franklin Chamber of Commerce, and Angela Vandersteen -Aspire Johnson County for sharing incredibly kind words during the ribbon cutting! We greatly appreciate each of you! In addition, thank you to our community partners for their amazing door prizes! We must also thank all of our volunteers, our God’s Girls and God’s Guys, as well as our JCSS team. Above all to our Heavenly Father from whom all blessings flow. We are humbled and honored daily to have the privilege of serving this precious generation that has taken up residence in our hearts.

Tell us about the 45 testimonies to celebrate 45 years. 

We have a volunteer who is capturing 45 testimonies from seniors, volunteers, community partners, elected officials, etc. Once those are completed, we will begin sharing those on social media. At that point we will kick off the campaign to raise $45,000 in 45 days.

What are the current needs at the agency, and how can people help?

First and foremost, prayers for our seniors and our agency. Then there is always a need for pantry food items, durable medical equipment, volunteers, Christmas gifts during the holidays, sponsors for our fundraisers, monetary donations, and the list goes on and on.

Where do readers go for questions/more information/to donate?They may go to our website at jcseniorservices.org; there is a PayPal option. Checks may be mailed to Johnson County Senior Services 36 W. 600 N. Whiteland, IN 46184.

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