Frederick nonprofit gives free aid to senior citizens

Maryland

FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Partners in Care has been giving senior citizens age 60 and up free aid for almost 20 years.

They work on a volunteer basis; volunteers can drive participating people, or “consumers,” around, talk to them on the phone with their “phone buddy” service, or work in the office and new upscale boutique.

Joanne Weiss, a long-time volunteer, said that she has “spent (her) life as a volunteer.”

“It is important. It’s a service that people need, and the fact that we can just go pick someone up (so) they’re not standing outside waiting for a bus,” Weiss said.

Frederick Site Director Randy Gray said that they manage to keep their services free thanks to a system of giving back – many consumers will also end up volunteering. Clara Boyer recently moved here from Georgia, and she has both used their services and volunteered.

“I wanted to do some volunteer because they are always giving to the community and taking me and other seniors to the doctor’s,” Boyer said.

The boutique opened in February. Gray stated that they had to close it down after a couple of weeks due to COVID-19, but they reopened the shop in June.

“We think it’s one of the best-kept secrets,” Gray said with a smile.

Gray said that the Frederick branch has approximately 200 volunteers. He stated they had about 60 volunteer drivers, but that dropped to about 20 after COVID-19.

Many volunteers such as Weiss still continue to provide driving services.

“I’ve just been blessed by meeting these people (as a driver),” Weiss stated.

Their “phone buddy” program allows people to talk to others on the phone when they need company.

“People who are shuttered, they’re lonely, they need someone to talk to… we’ll have folks, again, volunteers, call them and talk to them and try to cheer them up,” Gray said.

More information about Partners in Care can be found on their website.

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