Volunteers needed to assist area seniors

Published 10:21 pm Friday, May 1, 2009

Cleaning house, buying groceries, mowing the lawn — those are activities most of us take for granted, but to some people they are difficult or impossible.

Many local seniors need help doing everyday chores in their homes, and anyone with a little extra time in their day can volunteer to lend a hand.

“That’s our biggest need,” said Anita Aldridge, manager of the Clanton Senior Center. “This time of year, grass is starting to grow, and they are not able to cut the grass and do simple things that we take for granted.”

Two of the center’s regular members are blind, and another is wheelchair bound. More than 30 are homebound and depend on Meals on Wheels for their daily nutritional needs. The state has frozen participation in the program, however, due to the lack of funding.

Aldridge said volunteers can pay for meals through the Hearts for the Hungry program. Donations are tax deductible as long as the contributor doesn’t name a specific person to assist.

“There are several that could benefit from the program, but there are no funds to add new participants,” Aldridge said.

Transportation is another problem for seniors, many of whom rely on public transportation, which costs money. Volunteers could buy tokens for a certain number of days to provide this service.

Volunteer work could even be something as simple as calling a bingo game, Aldridge added.

“That gives us a break and frees us up to do other things,” she said.

Maplesville Senior Center Manager Faye Hightower said people come to the center to hand out plates, fill out paperwork, sing, and even lead devotionals.

Hightower said she would like to see more participation in the center.

“Both the Clanton and Maplesville centers need members, and anyone 60 and older is welcome,” she said.

All volunteers must fill out an application and submit to a background check. For more information, call the Clanton Senior Center at 755-3248 or the Maplesville Senior Center at (334) 366-2717.