ESCANABA – The Senior Companion program at the Community Action Agency in Escanaba is in need of volunteers to assist the elderly in the community.
Program Director Connie Maule said there only 49 senior companions in Menominee, Delta and Schoolcraft Counties to help 697 participants.
“Every volunteer we have aboard now is very, very busy. That’s why we have open recruitment, ongoing,” Maule said.
Mary Lou Break of Escanaba joined the Senior Companion program 11 years ago, shortly after her husband died.
She helps nine people throughout the week, taking them shopping, play cards or even reading to them.
“It seems like you get to know the people and it seems like you are a part of their family and they are a part of your family. You kind of adopt each other,” Break said.
Luella Maskart considers Mary Lou a friend. She looks forward to their Fridays together.
“I need transportation. That’s the big thing. Otherwise, I’m pretty capable,” said Maskart. “Where do we go. The bank, the post office and of course the grocery store.”
Maskart said she plans the outings each Friday. The outing ends with lunch and tea.
Senior Companions are 55 and older and work 15 to 40 hours a week. Maule said volunteers receive 40 hours of orientation when they join, monthly training, a meal during work days, annual physical, transportation reimbursement and insurance coverage.
Maule can be contacted at 906-786-7080, ext 144, or go to www.mdscaa.org.