Louisville Metro RSVP Helps Homebound Seniors Prepare for Disaster
Project selected in recognition of MLK Week of Service
During this year’s “MLK Week of Service”, January 21-24, over 100 Louisville Metro RSVP volunteers who pack and deliver midday meals for homebound seniors will also include disaster preparedness pamphlets. RSVP chose this project to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and his inclusion concern for all.
RSVP (the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) is collaborating with the Louisville Metro Senior Nutrition Program, SeniorCare Experts, Inc., and Highlands Outreach for Older Persons to reach over 600 households throughout Jefferson County. RSVP’s additional partner, Louisville Chapter American Red Cross Disaster Services, provided materials and information for the preparedness packet that includes a disaster kit building-buying plan, flood and power outage action steps, and contact numbers for longer needs recovery.
“Having the printed materials on hand for seniors is often a critical starting point. These seniors are usually less mobile in the community and may not get to traditional outreach events. On limited incomes, they may not have internet access in their home and may not be able to afford a newspaper or magazines that provide information about disaster subjects,” stated RSVP Director, Marian Gosling. “We hope this information will help prepare these residents and give them the tools on how to build a home disaster kit- even on a tight, monthly budget.”
RSVP – part of Louisville Metro Department of Community Services and Revitalization -- recruits, supports and promotes recognition of adult volunteers age 55 and over for their volunteer service with affiliated not-for-profits, public service and proprietary care facilities in efforts to have positive impact on community needs. Over 600 RSVP volunteers currently serve nearly 60 sites of public service and non-profit organization in Louisville. For more information on how to get involved, call 502/574-7306 or visit http://www.louisvilleky.gov/CSR/Community+Services/Retired+Senior+Volunteer+Program.htm.
Hillary Washington- Metro Animal Services Volunteers
Blue, a bright and lively male pit bull, was cared for by the staff and volunteers at Louisville Metro Animal Services. The sweet boy was treated for smoke inhalation and recovered physically and emotionally. Blue is a jolly guy, sweet and full of energy.
|When you look into Blue’s big hazel eyes, you can tell he has a story to tell.
It was a cold November morning. Hillary Washington and her Louisville fire team were called to a blaze at an apartment complex only to find an elderly woman dead. But Hillary, along with Heather Harris, a Metro Animal Services' Officer, heard another cry for help.
Blue, a beautiful dog, was fighting for survival. Scared and confused, the timid two-year-old was rescued by Hillary and Heather.
Hillary immediately expressed interest in caring for him forever. Unfortunately, Blue didn't get along with her cat but everyone continued to fight for Blue.After several weeks, Blue found his forever home.
Even though Blue wasn't the best fit for them, Hillary and her husband Lamont still wanted to help another pit bull. They came back to meet Pinkie and everyone hit it off great. Hillary also now volunteers with us on a regular basis!
Are you our next lifesaver?
Susan Hatton- Volunteer Jefferson Memorial Forest
Susan and her husband, John, joined the JMF volunteer family in January 2010 as Volunteer Naturalists. Preferring to let others have the limelight, Susan likes to serve as a helper with children’s programs, assist staff and “sweep” on woodland hikes (the sweep stays in the back of a hiking group to assure participants are all together and provides interpretation for those unable to hear the guide in front of the group).
||This past year, Susan found another calling when she offered to assist in the volunteer office with a special project. That project became another, and another, and before we knew it, Susan was assisting in the office on a weekly basis! In 2012, Susan dedicated over 135 hours to assuring the volunteer office runs smoothly. Lending her PC skills to logging volunteer hours and running reports, she also prepares documents, letters and cards for mailing, assembles welcome packets for new volunteers, maintains the files and follows up on renewal and certification needs. She does a fabulous job of making the Volunteer Coordinator look good, and our VC cannot thank her enough! |
In her two years with us, Susan has logged nearly 400 hours in volunteer service to the Forest. Thank you, Susan, for your continued hard work and dedication.
Philip Hettich – Metro Corrections Volunteer
For 15 years Deacon Philip Hettich has devoted his time to serving the Lord by providing religious services to inmates in Metro Corrections. Twice a week for three hours a day, Hettich visits general population and protective custody inmates on five floors of the jail. The services usually begin with a song like “Peace is Flowing Like a River,” then move on to giving homily, communion and reading the gospel. He encourages open discussions and open readings where inmates can come to pray.
When asked what he hopes to accomplish with his services, Hettich responded “I hope they get half an hour of peace and serenity… a moment to reflect.”
Hettich is a deacon with St. Bernard Parish, which has been incredibly generous to the inmates. The parish has purchased and donated 686 bibles for those incarcerated in Metro Corrections. The Catholic Church considers a deacon retired when he turns 75 years old, but that’s not the case for 76-year-old Hettich. He wants to continue helping others, so he had to request permission from his priest to remain active. In fact, he hopes to keep working until he is 80! Luckily, Hettich receives assistant from Sister Margaret Hohman who has been volunteering for 12 years and Deacon Mike Layman who has been involved for approximately seven years.
In addition to giving his time to the inmates, Hettich also goes to hospitals and nursing homes, and gives the Saturday and Sunday service at Church. He is married to Mary Theresa whom he considers to be supportive of his active life. Together, they had four children.
“I just do what comes naturally after a while,” said Hettich. “A whole lot of people give a whole lot more than I do.”
Metro Parks USTA Tennis Program Volunteers
When the new tennis courts in California Park were dedicated last July it created new recreational opportunities for many 10 and under youth in the California Neighborhood. Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and $2,500 grant from the Louisville Metro Parks Foundation four flashy new youth and one adult courts were built in the park. This opportunity, not only came in the monetary form, but also in the form of service to the community. With the volunteer support of the USTA free tennis lessons were offered to area elementary and middle school age students. Dee Maynard along with volunteers Bruce Stone and Charles Crawford help to lead this program. These volunteers, which consist of former pro and tennis coaches, have been dedicated to having a meaningful, positive impact on youth’s lives.
The program so far has been a great success. Dee Maynard who has helped lead and organize tennis events as part of this program says the participants “ability to learn exceeded my ability to teach.” She added the program opens doors, provides a healthy physical activity, teaches life skills, and also provides incentives. Thanks to the “Read for a Racquet Program”, children who read five books and write a book report earn a racquet and balls.
Thanks in part to these volunteers efforts, California Community Center and Wheatley Elementary partnered up to put in place a tennis tournament for the 10 and under youth during this past winter break. 55 participants, 21 volunteers and over 60 spectators’ attended the first tournament this winter.
Mary Ann and Gary Jacobs- Metro Animal Services Volunteers
Mary Ann Jacobs started volunteering with us in September 2011 and since then has gotten her husband, Gary Jacobs, very involved! Mary Ann walks dogs and does pretty much anything that is needed every Wednesday afternoon! We are so grateful to have her as a weekly volunteer who does so much for our animals. Mary Ann and Gary love getting involved in all the parades and always enjoy getting dressed up together! They both like to give back to the community and are involved with many other organizations including Kentucky Humane Society's SNIP Clinic and The Kentucky Theater of the Arts. We appreciate everything the Jacobs do at our facilities! They are an amazing couple!