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Coast Hills

'All In' finds Partners in Caring

by Joshua D. Scroggin
November 06, 2017
Two ladies from CoastHills pose with an oversized $1,000 check with the director of Partners in Caring
CoastHills credit analyst Delena Richardson, middle, and CoastHills community relations officer Amanda Hollingworth, left, present a $1,000 donation to Community Partners in Caring and executive director Vilma Contreras. — Joshua D. Scroggin

Being a caregiver is mentally, physically, and financially exhausting. Delena Richardson, Business Services Credit Analyst at CoastHills Credit Union, worked full-time and was going to school when she first took on the role of caregiver for her ill mom.

She often found herself asking, “Where do we go for help?”

Finding someone to come in, even if just for an hour, to help clean, run errands or even to just keep her mom company when she was at work or class was difficult. While her family could pay for a service to assist, she wondered about those who were all alone and couldn't afford it

Delena joined the CoastHills “I’m All In" program, a voluntary employee-funded charitable giving program, because she wanted to support small community organizations. When she was selected to choose an organization to designate a $1,000 donation to in October, she thought of the caregivers, families and people in the community who could use a little help.

This lead her to Community Partners in Caring.

Community Partners in Caring is a local organization that deploys teams of volunteers to provide support services to our elderly community members who live alone or don’t have the financial ability to get the services they need.

“We like to say that we help our seniors age in pace with grace and dignity,” said Vilma Contreras, Executive Director.

The nonprofit has been serving the Santa Maria and Lompoc valleys for twenty years, and is building up a program for Santa Ynez. In these areas, the senior population is 18 percent and rising, so the need for help grows every year.

The biggest service Community Partners in Caring provides is transportation. Whether it’s taking people to appointments, the grocery store or somewhere to encourage social interaction and enrichment, volunteers are happy to do it.

The group even recently began serving people suffering from life-threatening illnesses, regardless of age, to ensure that they are able to get their treatment without the stress of family members needing to miss work and risk losing the income that provides food, shelter and their medication.

Community Partners in Caring also sponsors an intergenerational program where volunteers help seniors check off tasks before they snowball into a crisis. Something seemingly as benign as a messy yard can threaten someone's homeowners insurance, which could put their mortgage and, ultimately, land them on the street.

Vilma just started organizing a group to do yard work for a local Korean War veteran who received his final notice that he must improve his property or he will lose his insurance. She already has 27 people signed up to help.

Interested in making a difference? Donations like Delena’s are always welcome and help the group cover the costs associated with training volunteers, background checks, mileage reimbursement, and insurance. Community Partners in Caring is always seeking volunteers and makes it easy to lend a hand. Volunteers simply have to give their time and can select assignments that fit into their schedule.

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Similar topics: We Make A Difference, I'm All In

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