The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

Community Bits

County Line—Seniors make connections

—DON LEONARD, SANDOVAL COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN
Trying to balance dwindling federal dollars with the challenges that rapid growth is sparking across Sandoval County would be an impossible task without the tremendous contributions of hundreds of senior volunteers—the young-at-heart who are doing so many things to help make life better for all of us.

I had the pleasure a few weeks ago of spending some time with more than two hundred County residents, ages fifty-five and older, who attended an appreciation ceremony recognizing their dedication and hard work on behalf of all County residents. The volunteers are actively involved in the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Senior Companion, Foster Grandparents, and the County’s other senior volunteer organizations.

These are the so-called “seniors” who are so hot they sizzle as they help friends and neighbors in all walks of life.

Last month was “Older Americans Month,” a time when the nation was reminded of what many County residents already know: If you want something done, just ask the people with fresh ideas formed by lifetimes of experience.

Sandoval County’s retired volunteers are making things happen. Thanks to their unwavering efforts, many other residents throughout the County are living meaningful, more productive lives.

County RSVP and Senior Companion Program volunteers are delivering meals, and working in schools, in homes, and in senior and youth centers across our County. They provide transportation for other residents to medical appointments and help provide independent living for clients referred to the programs by hospitals, senior centers, families or State agencies. Other County volunteers, meanwhile, are staffing our libraries, our non-profit organizations, and helping out in some County offices.

The phrase “couch potato” isn’t in their vocabulary. In their “spare” time, they provide companionship, help our elderly pay bills, administer medication, and shop for others. The volunteers fill gaps and provide services for our social workers, assist healthcare providers, and serve as role models by working in schools.

While federal funding in recent years has been shifted away from senior programs nationwide, Sandoval County has continued to enhance and improve its senior services—thanks to the three hundred-twenty County residents who are volunteering their time and services.

Studies by the County’s Senior Program staff show many of the County’s retired seniors work as much as twenty hours each week as volunteers, offering time and labor that is vital to the large numbers of residents who depend on their help. We owe them our sincere gratitude and support for their efforts to serve in our communities.

The volunteers come from all walks of life and bring a full spectrum of experiences. The combined efforts of the County’s Senior Program volunteers exceed 142,400 hours a year. The dollar value of the number of hours they provide totals $733,422 annually.

Questions or comments for Commissioner Leonard can be mailed to him at Sandoval County Administrative Offices, P. O. Box 40, Bernalillo, NM 87004.


Women helped through stages of divorce

The New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women, Displaced Homemakers Office, is again offering the popular free classes on Women in Transition: Divorce, Money and Power, addressing short- and long-term issues for women in transition due to divorce or other life change.

This four-week series brings professionals from the community to share their expertise and assist women in moving through the phases of the divorce process.

Classes are ongoing and meet at the Commission Office, 300 San Mateo Boulevard NE, Suite 101, in Albuquerque. Seating is limited, so registration is required. Contact Lorraine Bantista for additional information and registration, at 222-6600.

 

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