RICHMOND, Va (Nov. 10, 2012)- They claim to have been through it all, but with the “Baby Boomer” generation getting older and the number of senior citizens rising, more attention is being put on the organizations that help cater to their care. There are 83 listings of Senior Citizen Services and Organizations in the city of Richmond that each outlines their individual mission to help better the lives of seniors.
Among the listings is The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond who for over 25 years has been serving people over 50 with personal service and education. This non-profit organization is run by a community of volunteers whose mission is to enrich the lives of those over 50 and promote the importance of independent living.
Most people receive services through word of mouth because the center does not advertise due to the fact that people might take advantage of it in the wrong capacity. Advertising is also expensive which can be a problem because they are funded entirely by donations from the community.
“Most funds are from individuals and from some congregations and small foundations,” said Linda Frank, the Operating Director.
“I think it’s important for them to realize that they have a support system, our main goal is to empower them and encourage them to continue to give meaning to their lives,” said volunteer of the Shepherd’s Center, Brittany Houhoulis.
The center provides transportation to medical appointments, groceries, light handyman help, bookkeeping, and friendly calls and visits. In addition the shepherd’s center offers a variety of classes in the Richmond area for higher learning.
“I volunteer for The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond, because I like to give back. I believe all these people deserve the attention and to be cared for. As volunteers we get nothing in return, but the simple satisfaction of making people happy,” said volunteer Dante LeGare.
The Shepherds Center shares the same goals as many senior citizen organizations and even operates with some other organizations as well, such as Senior Connections.
Senior Connections is a private Richmond area non-profit agency that provides resources for senior citizens. Established in 1973, the agency provides services to seniors such as caregiver support, insurance counseling, money management, senior employment, and many others.
“They’re helping my grandmother with finding volunteer work around the area,” said Chris Naji. “The work they find her keeps her out during the day and she loves it.”
Another one of the agency’s distinctive is the ability for volunteers and others to support a senior. The agency has a webpage with a story about a senior and their family who may be going through hardship and trouble. People can donate to help support that person through the webpage.
“I read a story about a lady who lives in an unheated home and cannot afford to have it heated and it really kind of made me feel prompted to give something,” said Matthew Gu.
The organization is funded with an undisclosed amount of money through the Virginia Department for the Aging along with the city government but people can also just donate to the organization even if they chose not to support a senior.
One of the agency’s most used services is information and assistance which helps its members locate services that best fits their needs and they receive roughly 25,000 calls annually.
The Shepherds Center and Senior Connections are a part of a network of around 700 area agencies on aging which is also known as the AAA which has around 25 located in Virginia. Together, these organizations help improve the lives of the people responsible for building the world we have today.