Daily Point of Light # 2277 Oct 25, 2002

Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties have one of the highest retiree populations in the country; and Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola takes great pride in meeting the special needs of the community’s elderly population, especially the many who have so proudly served the United States.

Surrounded by such a large older adult population, NAS Pensacola volunteers partner with the Council on Aging (COA) to meet the reoccurring needs of senior citizens. During the four-year partnership with COA, military volunteers have assisted thousands of senior citizens with lawn care, home repairs, painting, entertainment and meal deliveries.

The frequent volunteer service in nursing and retirement homes develops and nurtures relationships between young military volunteers away from their family and senior citizens away from their home. The volunteers offer their time, skills and friendship to these individuals who are most of the time isolated.

In addition to their ongoing visits, NAS Pensacola’s volunteers have participated in the 9th Annual Day of Caring, the 3rd Annual ”Springtime with our Seniors” and the second year of “adopting” one senior couple. Nearly 500 volunteers cleaned the yards of 50 seniors, and over 3,400 volunteer hours of mowing and painting. Ten volunteers also spent their Valentine’s Day with Alzheimer’s patients dancing to big band music to make the holiday special for the seniors who are sometimes forgotten.

The impact of NAS Pensacola’s volunteers community service is cleaner yards, freshly painted homes, repaired homes, more meals delivered to the homebound, hours of fishing, trips to the zoo, picnics, Valentine’s dances and improvements to nursing homes. The greatest impact is the special bond between our young military volunteers and their senior partners. Youth and elders have been matched together leading to the success of an extensive collaboration with the Council on Aging.