Officials from the Sampson County Department of Aging are encouraging others to make a difference by volunteering their time and helping senior citizens.
The local department is searching for helpers to deliver throughout Clinton for the Home Delivered Meals Program. Officials and participants meet at the Butler Court Senior Center, 501 Bethune Court, Clinton. The delivery time is between 11 a.m. and noon. Optional days and routes are available during the week.
Linda Armwood, program manager, believes it’s a awarding experience.
“You get the opportunity to provide a service to individuals that may not have family, friends or anyone else that visit their homes on a daily basis,” Armwood said. “It’s an opportunity to provide a service to those in need and it’s an opportunity to give back to the community.”
Armwood added that a lot of people don’t understand the importance of service and the importance of helping older residents maintain their independence at home.
“Sometimes that individual may have no one else who’s coming to communicate with them on a daily basis,” she said. “That gives them the opportunity to have that person come to their home and give them a hello or maybe chat with them.
“I know it’s hard doing it, when it’s a route, but the volunteers do take that extra time and conversate with those individuals to make sure they’re having a good day,” Armwood said.
Along with volunteers, the organization includes many officials working together. Assistance is an ongoing need in Sampson County. In Clinton, there’s five different routes that aren’t fully staffed. There’s days when employees have to run routes, which takes away from important duties at the office.
Currently, about five volunteers are needed to help with deliveries within a 7 mile to 10 mile radius. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes to complete a route. She added that it keeps the completion time down as well.
“It’s right in the city limits,” Armwood said. “We try not to send them outside of the city limits because we know that’s farther mileage and cost wise it’s a greater amount.”
The meal program is one of several services provided throughout Sampson County. Through the department assistance is also provided to family caregivers, handicapped individuals and low-income residents. Some of the services and programs include health care, home improvement and in-home aid services.
For more information about the meal program or volunteering, contact Armwood from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 910-592-4653; or Site Manager Paula Jacobs at 910-592-5604 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.