17:21 PM

Devoting Personal Time to Feed Seniors

Barbara Gooch, Contact Center Rep, delivering meals to seniors in Jackson County with Vernon Carter, Pearl Harbor Veteran.

While many of us enjoy our lunch break or run errands, Barbara Gooch, contact center representative, delivers hot lunches to elderly persons living in Jackson County, a part of the County’s Senior Center program. She started delivering the weekly meals nearly 25 years ago through her church program in which she was also instrumental in starting.

Though the name is different, the nutrition program for frail or elderly persons living in the county operates like Meals on Wheels. Approximately 125 seniors receive hot lunches delivered by friendly volunteers Monday through Friday. For some seniors, this daily visit may be the only social interaction they have during the day. The volunteers can also let the Senior Center staff know when clients have other social service needs, like non-working smoke detectors or an unnumbered mailbox.

“The residents are so happy to see and talk to you, and it brightens up their day, if only for a few minutes,” says Gooch. “We often get busy and if I had time, I’d sit and talk to these folks for hours. Their stories are priceless, and I believe I get as much out of it as they do.”

“The example Barbara sets is noticed by all she comes in contact with,” said Aileen Crane, contact center supervisor. “She’s a devoted servant to her community and others, and she never seems to tire.”

Gooch encourages others to get involved. “There are a lot of programs and volunteer needs, and I hope others will consider helping similar programs,” she concludes.

For ways you can get volunteer or get involved in helping senior citizens, visit your local county website or office, for Jackson County, visit http://www.jacksoncountygov.com.