SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Senior Volunteers Participate Throughout Ketchikan


December 18, 2006

Ketchikan, Alaska - Alaska Community Service (ACS) recognized their 15 volunteers at SeaView Terrace activity room on Friday at a casual party with approximately forty people in attendance. Gretchen Klein, ACS Coordinator, said," The SeaView Terrace Resident Council made it a splendid event for us. "

Klein said, "What was most striking was the number of people who attended who were retired ACS volunteers and people looking at getting involved in ACS one way or the other." She said, "Our average age of our volunteers has been 78 which just goes so show how active people are staying, and it is just amazing how much they are still giving to others."

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S.E Service Staff Delma and ACS volunteer Sig enjoy the holiday party.
Photograph courtesy ACS

Long-time and now retired ACS volunteers Marie Smith and Mary Fitizigbbon attended the event. Klein said, "They had been members for ten plus years. It is always fun to hear about their experiences as volunteers, and it was a nice opportunity to let them know they are missed at their volunteer sites."

Several of the ACS volunteers also took part in the monthly Intergenerational Party held on Saturday at the Pioneers Home. Klein said, "It was a fun filled afternoon with Boys and Girls Club members playing bingo with residents, and helping make bird feeders out of pine cones and bird seed mix. This consists of peanut butter, meal, birdseeds, and lard."

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Marco Torres at Intergenerational Party at the Pioneers Home making bird feeders...
Photograph courtesy ACS

"In the past year we have seen a high number of people inquiring to be ACS Senior Companion volunteer," said Klein. "It was once thought that we would have fifty percent Fostergrandparents helping kids in the schools but that is not the case in Ketchikan. Currently we have ninety percent senior companions and ten percent Fostergrandparents helping at various sites." Volunteers participate in events and activities at SeaView Terrace, Ketchikan Pioneer Home, Rendezvous Day Center, Saxman Headstart, S.E. Senior Center, Gateway Christian School, Ketchikan Youth Court, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Boys and Girls Club.

Klein said, "Many time our volunteers at these senior sites are there helping with meals, taking people shopping, appointments, or special events, visiting over a coffee, reading a paper, playing a card game or bingo, or simply talking with people."

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ACS Volunteer Juanita Diamond and Walt create a bird feeder...
Photograph courtesy ACS

Klein said there are over forty residents in the Pioneers Home, and over sixty at the S.E. Senior Center served through meals on wheels and lunches at the center. "The need is great for more people to volunteer at these sites and others," she said. There are approximately 1,400 seniors in Ketchikan and Klein said the community is going to see an increased need for more services and support for this age group in the future. "We hope more people get involved and help out," said Klein.

Alaska Community Service meetings are held 3rd day of each month at the Ketchikan Senior Center from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer in the Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, or Retired Senior Volunteer programs stop by Alaska Community Service to get more information during this time. Klein said the program is open for people over 60 years of age. "The possibilities are endless," said Klein.


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska