Blair Senior Services hosts volunteer recognition

Blair Senior Services Inc. held its annual Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Program Recognition Brunch June 13 at the Park Hills Country Club to celebrate and show appreciation to the volunteers who dedicate their time and efforts to their community.

Approximately 90 volunteers enjoyed mingling with fellow volunteers as well as Pat Himes, representing U.S. Congressman John Joyce, and hearing some words from State Rep. Lou Schmitt.

“I am in awe of your dedication and devotion to your fellow man,” Schmitt said. “I wanted to stop by today to commend all of you on your efforts. Your work makes our state, our nation and even our world a better place. Thank you for the work that you do. Congratulations.”

Foster Grandparent Program volunteers often serve through numerous local organizations, including faith-based groups, Head Starts and other youth facilities.

They become a role model, mentor and friend for the children they support with reading, tutoring and guiding them through childhood. There were 46,874 hours served supporting more than 120 children among 56 volunteers with the Foster Grand-parent Program in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Senior Companion Program volunteers assist older adults in the region to remain independent in their own home. They provide friendship, emotional support and care to supplement that provided by family or professional caregivers.

Among 63 volunteers, there were 45,915 hours served, with more than 189 older adults assisted with the Senior Companion Program in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

“It’s such a nice way to recognize all of our wonderful volunteers and the work they do throughout the year with area children and older adults,” said Tracy Ritter, volunteer program coordinator.

“We have exceeded all of our numbers from last year which is amazing,” said Angel Dandrea, volunteer program supervisor. “It’s such an accomplishment for everyone in this room.”

Founded in 1974 as the Area Agency on Aging for Blair County, Blair Senior Services Inc. is a private, nonprofit corporation designed to meet the needs of older adults living in Blair County.

It serves residents of all ages through diverse programming and contracts that help provide transportation, assessments and volunteering. Their professional staff, volunteers and 15-member board of directors are dedicated to the principles and values of dignity, empowerment, advocacy and respect.

For more information, call 946-1235 or visit www.blairsenior.org.