South Hills interfaith Movement (SHIM), United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and AgeWell Pittsburgh, with support from Jefferson Regional Foundation, are working together to launch a new volunteer-driven calling service to benefit South Hills seniors. Through CheckMates, volunteers make weekly, confidential phone calls that provide friendship, reassurance and a check-in for seniors living independently in their own homes.
In the South Hills, 19% of – or nearly one out of five – individuals are over 65, 78% of whom depend on friends and family as their only sources of help. AARP reports that 35% of seniors are lonely.
“The need is here. A single phone call can make a senior’s day and can be that check-in they might need just to make sure everything is okay in their home and with their health,” said Jim Guffey, executive director, SHIM. “If someone is interested in doing something good for seniors in our neighborhood, we encourage them to reach out to us. It’s a small commitment, but you can really make an impact on someone’s life and well-being.”
Volunteers will make weekly phone calls from SHIM Center in Bethel Park. Community members are encouraged to spread the word, and if they know a local senior who could benefit from a weekly phone call, they should encourage them to sign up.
With your help, and the help of other local officials, we can continue to reach seniors who can benefit from this service and aim to eliminate isolation and loneliness of our senior population.
If you would like to volunteer, receive a weekly phone call, or know a senior that would appreciate a weekly phone call, please contact Mary Amatangelo at firstname.lastname@example.org 412-854-9120 ext 116.