United Way Newsletter
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YOUR UNITED WAY CONTRIBUTION AT WORK
HEARTS AND HANDS: FAITH IN ACTION
After twenty-four years of service, the onset of Meniere’s disease forced Nina to retire from her position as head secretary at the University of Buffalo Psychology Department. She feared losing her independence - and the home she shared with her late husband - because balance issues caused by her Meniere’s disease meant she no longer felt comfortable driving. To compound matters, her breast cancer diagnosis meant even more frequent and essential visits to the doctor.
That’s when Hearts and Hands came into the picture. Volunteers picked Nina up at her home, drove her to her appointments, and waited for her while she was being seen and treated. “Hearts and Hands was a lifesaver,” said Nina. “I didn’t have to worry about the transportation to and from the doctor’s office. If it wasn’t for Hearts and Hands, I would have had to sell my house and move closer to my doctors. But the volunteers made it possible for me to stay in my home,” she explained.
ABOUT HEARTS AND HANDS
As we age, we are more likely to experience multiple chronic medical conditions. More than 35% of all senior citizens have three or more conditions which limit their ability to take care of themselves. Seniors who cannot access medical care and other needed services risk worsening health and decreased independence. Often, a resource as simple as transportation can help a senior citizen remain independent in the home of his or her choice.
Hearts and Hands: Faith in Action organizes volunteers to assist the elderly and those with health concerns. Hearts & Hands volunteers provide friendly companion visits, safety calls, housekeeping, lawn care, and minor home repair services. They also provide transportation for medical appointments and other important errands. This year, United Way is proud to invest $42,000 in this important program under our Health and Wellness platform.
In just one year, Hearts and Hands: Faith in Action’s volunteers provided more than 3,800 hours of service and drove over 50,000 miles to assist seniors and those with health concerns in the rural communities of Newstead, Alden and Wales. By providing these supportive services, the program was able to help 94% of those served to remain independent, avoiding the need for a higher level of care such as hospitalization or residential placement.