Groups helping seniors stay warm - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Groups helping seniors stay warm

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It might still be relatively warm outside right now, but temperatures are expected to hit around the freezing mark this week and many seniors could be affected. A local group has started a program this year to help older people fight the cold.

"We have a waiting list of 800 to 900 people that are waiting to get on one of our programs. The Aging and Disability Resource Center is making sure those vulnerable to the cold, who might not have access to a lot of heat this winter, get the things they need. Director of Operation of Programs, Debbie Battles, says  "I think it's a great initiative in that we can do something out of the norm to help seniors we can serve."

With temperatures expected to drop this week, the Warming Hearts Community Outreach Project comes at a perfect time. The center is encouraging people to donate items like scarves, thermal wear, blankets and portable heaters that automatically shut off, to keep people facing tough times, extra warm. Coordinator, Adrienne Jordan, says "We serve a very vulnerable population and a lot of the government programs in place don't address all the needs of our clients, so they end up not being able to receive services they need because there's a shortage of funding."

Brian Wallace, Spokesperson for the Salvation Army, says  "I think so often they become invisible because they don't have a loud voice in society  and a lot of them end of by themselves, closed in especially when it gets cold." The agency is also ready to help seniors  who need assistance.  It has a closet full of warm clothes. "The Salvation Army is a lot of the times a last resort and that's why we're there. If all else fails, you can come to us and we can provide you with whatever you need, whether its senior citizens or anybody else."

There are several drop off locations in the region. One location is the University of Montevallo. Items are also being accepted at New Beacon Hospice in Alabaster. There are also drop off locations in Blount County, Chilton County, St. Clair County and Walker County.  You can reach the center for more details at 205-670-5770.

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