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Serving Our Seniors

July 18, 2011

According to recent US Census Bureau data, just over a quarter million Las Vegans are age 60 and above.  State officials have also hypothesized that this area of our population will continue to substantially grow over the next ten years as seniors make the move to the region.  This makes sense for a state with relaxed personal tax laws for a population that is living on limited income.  However, sometimes this isn’t enough.  Sometimes the fixed income is stretched to maintain basic survival as costs of necessities such as food, transportation, and healthcare fluctuates.  This is where the Helping Hands of Vegas Valley steps in.

In its eleven year existence, the organization has dedicated itself to caring for the growing senior population.  Services offered include wheelchair transportation, volunteer transportation, respite care vouchers, and a food pantry.  This past Saturday, a few friends, along my son and I, were granted an opportunity to assist the Helping Hands of Vegas Valley with their food delivery effort, dubbed Pantry Pals.

We arrived at the organization by 8:00 AM.  After a quick word from the director, we made our way through the check-in to obtain our list of clients and bags of food we would be delivering.  My son and I received nine bags of groceries and two small bags of pet food; one for a cat and one for a dog.  We got to our car and started ruffling through our client list to determine the best possible route to get the items delivered efficiently.  Lucky for us, our six clients were in the same senior living complex.  My friend, on the other hand, had four different addresses, but none were too far from the rest.

We arrived at the senior living complex by 8:45 AM.  Every delivery receipt was complete with special instructions as well, which made the process flow much smoother than it otherwise could have.  Our first delivery was to a couple who had been married a lengthy number of years.  After some small talk while my son helped place the groceries on their counter, they signed the receipt and we made our way to the car to retrieve the next delivery.  The rest of the deliveries were similar with the only differences being the activities the clients were engaged in as we arrived.  Some were watching television, others playing cards with friends.

When it was all said and done, the opportunity took us a total of an hour and a half.  However, the resulting effects of the opportunity will extend far beyond this time, for both the clients and the volunteers.  And, as the population continues to increase, I can only imagine opportunities as great as this one will become more frequent.

~Jason

If you’d like to volunteer at Helping Hands of Las Vegas Valley visit the  HHOLV Profile on the HandsOn Nevada Website. If the time/dates don’t work for you there are many other opportunities that need volunteers.  Visit the HandsOn Nevada Website at www.VolunteerCenterSN.org to find the right opportunity for you today!

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