Doing Good — With Your Help
“I’m a single grandmother and my children live very far away,” says Orinda Senior Village resident Mary Poon. “I could not go to my doctor appointments without the help of the Seniors Around Town program.”
Seniors Around Town (SAT) is an Orinda Association (OA) program which helps local seniors maintain their independence. It is the only free transportation program that provides reliable, door-to-door transportation to seniors. There are 70 volunteer drivers who use their private vehicles for the rides.
With public support over the past several years, the program has expanded to become a positive force in the community by offering support to families who can count on someone else to take their loved ones to appointments. The program serves 118 registered riders and provides more than 1,300 rides last year. There is a tremendous need to provide this assistance to seniors in Orinda, where 30 percent of the riders are in their 90s, 30 percent are in their 80s and 20 percent are in their 70s.
As an example of the dedicated volunteers and staff, SAT staff made an extra effort during last month’s PG&E outage to get the most vulnerable clients to their dialysis and chemo treatments. They reached out by phone and in person to check on some senior riders they knew were isolated.
This is not just a ridership program, it’s helping our extended local families in a time of need.
SAT is one of the many programs offered and sponsored by The Orinda Association. The OA also organizes and sponsors the 4th of July Parade and annual Classic Car Show, and runs the downtown Volunteer Center. It publishes The Orinda News, which is distributed free each month to every household and business in Orinda.
The OA started in 1946 and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of maintaining and improving the quality of life in Orinda. It promotes awareness and encourages dialogue through forums on important issues. All of these efforts, events and programs would not be possible without the public’s continued generosity and assistance throughout the years. In its 73-year history the OA has been providing these services with the financial support of dedicated Orinda residents.
There are many new opportunities to explore. For instance, The OA has begun to work on a volunteer emergency support plan that will match SAT drivers with SAT riders in their own neighborhood. When SAT drivers sign onto the program, they can also volunteer to check on their assigned riders as needed and help connect them with family or the appropriate emergency services agency if needed.
The PG&E outage was a wake-up call for Orindans. It gave us insight on how to be better prepared the next time. For us at the OA, it was an opportunity to think about how we can better assist the most vulnerable members of our community.
We need your help in order to provide these needed services. Enclosed in this month’s newspaper is an Annual Appeal Envelope. Please take the time to study and familiarize yourself with the kinds of programs that are being sponsored and consider becoming a donor for the year.
We would like to keep providing these services and wish to ask you to join us to continue this journey of volunteerism.