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ElderHelp Hopes Spirit of 9/12 Emerges Again in La Mesa

San Diego-based group is looking for volunteers to help local seniors and keep them living at home.

The spirit of 9/12—the day America saw volunteer efforts soar after the 2001 terror attacks—can be jump-started again, some think. One might be Anneliese Wells.

This volunteer recruiter says more than 100 La Mesa residents call ElderHelp of San Diego every year for information and referral assistance. It’s just one of the many reasons they’re looking to expand their volunteer base in the city.

Much like the name suggests, ElderHelp is an organization dedicated to serving seniors to keep them living at home. They offer a variety of services, from daily visits to personal shopping.

“We want someone who is dedicated. … We do ask for a year commitment,” said Wells, who has a background in psychology. “We want someone who is patient.”

Currently, 22 of their 200-plus volunteers live in La Mesa. Many of those who sign up are in their 30s―people who have just lost a grandparent and are looking for a connection. ElderHelp works to match volunteers to seniors with similar interests and who live nearby.

“We try to hook people up within 10 miles of where they live so they feel like they’re making a difference in their neighborhood and helping their community,” Wells said.

For more information or to get involved, or call 619-284-9281 or email volunteers@elderhelpofsandiego.org.

Rebecca Brown September 13, 2011 at 04:13 AM
Great article on a super organization--as a volunteer with ElderHelp since 2008, I've more than enjoyed the hours spent helping local seniors. My most meaningful visit was when I visited my senior friend and she'd been obviously crying--she was so lonely. By the time I left, she was laughing and felt much better. Many seniors have lost their spouse, have few visitors and limited means of transportation. ElderHelp helps make their days brighter and strives to keep them independent in their own homes.
Annie Lane September 13, 2011 at 06:42 AM
Rebecca, thank you for adding to this article. What a lovely story. I wish I'd known about something like this while my grandmother was still here - this type of support from people like you would've helped.

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