Where to Give of Your Time in Pittsburgh

In Service of Seniors Pittsburgh links volunteers to seniors in need of assistance with daily tasks.

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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.
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