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Aside from donations, volunteers top priority for Giving Tuesday locally

Posted at 5:09 PM, Dec 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-01 17:09:58-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Giving Tuesday is known as a movement to help encourage people to help local charities.

While many donate money that isn't the only way to give back to your community.

Jocelyne Fliger, President and CEO of Elder Care Services sees first hand what the lack of volunteers is doing to her seniors.

"We are seeing a lot of our clients experience social isolation and then there's a lot of like physical health decline that comes with it."

The Elder Care services have a senior companion program that thrives from human interaction.

Fliger says she's hoping to see an increase soon because it makes a difference.

"It's such a simple thing that we can provide when we have enough volunteers. You know just spending time with somebody else, conversing, it keeps everybody's brain active and really social isolation is just so detrimental to clients."

Fliger says her goal is to provide a good life for her clients.

"My whole job and really my life aspirations is to help seniors live healthy and satisfying lives."

The Salvation Army of the big bend also relies heavily on volunteers.

Captain Ashlee Wildish says when there aren't enough volunteers it puts a strain on the staff.

"Essentially if we don't have volunteers we do have to scale back what we are able to do."

Wildish says they have a small staff for their family store

It's a main resource for the community and without the proper help, they fall behind with stocking shelves.

"Our staff gets overwhelmed. We can't get the product on the floor and when the products are not on the floor we don't make the income in the store which then goes right back into helping our emergencies social services program."

The salvation army has multiple programs a year and having a consistent rotation of volunteers is the biggest donation they need.

"It's a constant cycle. The more volunteers we have the more we can do. The fewer volunteers the more we have to scale back."

The Big Bend has many local charities that are always looking for volunteers.