Last updated: January 13. 2014 7:43PM - 577 Views
STACY KESS skess@civitasmedia.com

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The Council for Older Adults wants volunteers.

To get more volunteers, COA will host an open house on Jan. 30 from 4 to 6 p.m. The Delaware nonprofit dedicated to senior citizens is looking for volunteers to deliver Meals On Wheels, plus home-chore volunteers and kitchen assistants to prep food at the Center for Older Adults. Also sought are transportation volunteers; some to help with the open house itself.

“We traditionally hold a volunteer open house once or twice a year and we always have,” said Donna Meyer, community relations coordinator for COA.

She said the open house is set up with different stations for each volunteer area; each station is manned by a volunteer from that service.

“(Potential volunteers are) not under any obligation,” Meyer said. “They’re going to actually talk to someone who performs that service. They’re going to get the inside scoop of someone who actually knows what they’re talking about.”

The need for transportation volunteers grew urgent when the Delaware Area Transit Agency (DATA) announced its 2014 fare increases, Meyer said. Although COA announced its Bus Bucks program, a monthly stipend to offset the cost of DATA’s demand response fee for residents age 60 and older early in January, it is seeking volunteers for additional transportation assistance, such as rides to medical appointments, social service agencies and adult day care facilities.

“The Council’s transportation assistance is a fast-growing program,” said Robert Horrocks, COA’s executive director. “Many seniors in the county have frequent medical appointments and may not realize that they can take advantage of our service. In light of DATA’s fee increase, we need to focus on recruitment and promotion of our volunteer transportation program.”

Meyer said COA currently has 28 transportation volunteers, and 20 more are needed. Last year, volunteers completed 278 trips completed for area seniors, mostly to medical appointments around Delaware and Franklin Counties.

She said the council is also looking for many more home-chore volunteers, who help with small chores at seniors houses. Currently, 48 volunteers do everything from sweeping to changing light bulbs to help keep seniors in their homes. “And we’re looking to add another 20 to 30,” she said.

Meyer said one of the better staffed areas when it comes to volunteers is Meals On Wheels.

“That’s one of the first things people want to volunteer for, and we have about 300 volunteers,” she said. “That isn’t the desperate area like the transportation volunteers.”

The open house is a way for COA to help match potential volunteers with volunteer openings, Meyer said.

“(People) should volunteer because they’re helping Delaware County seniors, because it’s the right thing to do, because it makes them feel good about living in such a caring community and because they’re making a difference,” she said. “People do it because they love it.”

For more information on volunteering for COA or to RSVP for the volunteer open house, call COA at 740-363-6677 or visit www.growingolder.org.

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