Where to Give of Your Time in Pittsburgh
In Service of Seniors Pittsburgh links volunteers to seniors in need of assistance with daily tasks.
In Service of Seniors Pittsburgh
Caring for Pittsburgh’s senior citizens is a complex job. The tasks themselves, however, are often simple. Many seniors simply need a hand and a little of your time.
In Service of Seniors Pittsburgh, a program of Wesley Family Services, offers no-cost support for senior citizens. The organization, which is based in Pittsburgh, links volunteers to seniors in need of assistance with daily tasks.
These include day-to-day needs such as grocery shopping, opening mail and performing home safety checks. Volunteers do not provide health care, cleaning, personal care or meal prep; the aim of this program is help that non-specialized volunteers can easily complete.
“Our volunteers provide neighborly support,” says Sarah Papperman, service manager for Wesley Family Services. “It’s the kind of thing you might do for a neighbor, a friend or a family member; There are a lot of people … who are living by themselves and may not have a lot of those kinds of neighborly supports in place.”
In addition to the practical tasks volunteers can complete, simply visiting with senior citizens — some of whom may have few or no family members in the area — is a vital service.
“A lot of people of all ages have been facing isolation and loneliness, particularly these last six months or so,” Papperman says. “Knowing that you can expect a reliable call from someone who cares about what you’re doing, who is interested in you, who wants to just visit and talk and make sure everything is OK — that’s really nice.”
No minimum time requirement is needed to participate; Papperman says their volunteers range from daily tasks to just a few hours each month. Regardless of the amount, time spent offering this kind of assistance can have a profound impact on helping individuals maintain independence — a benefit with profound social and personal implications.
How to Donate
- Contact 412/342-2248 with questions about volunteering. For more information on both volunteering and requesting service, visit In Service of Seniors’ website at: wfspa.org/service/in-service-of-seniors
- Volunteers must be 18 years of age (or have parental approval), pass background clearances and complete a volunteer orientation.
- As of press time, some services are suspended due to heightened COVID-19 risks among the elderly population. Volunteers are still needed for phone calls, grocery delivery and other tasks; full services will resume when appropriate.
- In Service of Seniors is available to senior citizens in Allegheny County. A sister program under Wesley Family Services, Open Your Heart to a Senior, offers similar services to seniors in Westmoreland County.