People on the Move – PARTNERS IN CARE EARNS LOCAL AND NATIONAL RECOGNITION
Two Grantors Support Effective Nonprofit Model
For Immediate Release: November 5, 2008 (Anne Arundel County, MD)
Contact: Anne Myers 410-303-3003
Partners In Care, Inc. has been selected for the National Council on Aging’s Multigenerational & Civic Engagement (MGCE) initiative. The MGCE program is intended to strengthen valuable locally developed programs that hold promise to become national models. MGCE recognition includes a $30,000 grant for three years and support for two AmeriCorps VISTA workers to help fulfill program objectives.
Partners In Care, a 501c3 community nonprofit, was founded in 1993 to help older adults remain independent in their own homes. The MGCE grant values the organization’s innovative volunteer engagement strategies. The group engages more than 2,500 volunteer members to help each other in a formalized program based on reciprocity. Using the service-exchange model, people contribute their time and talents to the ‘community pool’ to accomplish what needs to be done. Every person is encouraged to contribute what they can and to become part of the solution. In this way, assets already in the community are identified and utilized, accomplishing more than in traditional models. Participants enjoy parity, rather than charity. A network of care is developed and older adults are empowered to remain independent. The model is being replicated in numerous communities seeking to support aging populations.
The MGCE grant recognizes the Ride Partners transportation program which provides rides for older adults, relieving stress on over-taxed families and caregivers.
The Marion Knott Foundation of Baltimore has awarded $50,000 to the Ride Partners program, which provides more than 100 rides per week to help seniors remain independent. Volunteer drivers use their own vehicles to take people to their medical appointments, to pick up prescriptions and groceries, and to complete other tasks. Drivers pick up the individual at their front door, drive them to the appointment, wait with them, then bring them safely home again, often stopping at a store or having lunch together. This kind, customized service directly contributes to the health of the community. In addition to receiving medical care, the rider enjoys a social interaction with a new person, and independence from always relying on their families for support. The driver meets a new person, enjoys a social exchange, and earns ‘credit in the bank’ for the time when he/she may need a hand.
The Knott Foundation grant will support the program and help to reimburse volunteer drivers for the expense of gas. Drivers can never be fully compensated for the time and attention they give to seniors who are comforted by having someone take them door to door for medical care, but partial fuel reimbursement will reduce their costs and recognize the importance of their service to the community. The grant will enable many people, particularly those on fixed incomes, to continue this valuable volunteer activity.
Drivers are always needed. Learn more at an orientation program on Nov. 13th at either 2pm or 5pm at the office at 6 S. Ritchie Highway in Pasadena, at the corner of East-West Blvd. Flexible and creative volunteer opportunities exist for all ages. Call 410-544-4800 to register in advance and visit www.partnersincare.org.