Established in 1993 by three Severna Park women – Sandra Jackson, Barbara Huston and Maureen Cavaiola, Partners in Care provides volunteer services to seniors living in their own homes. Volunteers provide transportation, grocery shopping and assistance with home maintenance tasks to the elderly who are in danger of having to leave their homes and move to an institutional setting.
This Harbor Hospital based program gives volunteers the opportunity to earn service credits, which serve as a reminder that what you give does come back to you. Volunteers earn one credit for each hour they volunteer. They can use this credit to obtain assistance themselves, donate credit to a friend or relative who needs assistance or simply donate the credit to the program for use by someone else. For instance, many elderly widows volunteer by driving others to medical appointments or working in one of the two boutiques, which provide income to the program. In return they receive handyman help, which allows them to stay in their homes. Partners in Care attempts to match people who have something to offer each other. For example, a youth aspiring to be a firefighter could spend time helping a retired fire chief.
Since the program’s inception, 2,200 individuals have participated as volunteers or recipients of services and 62,000 hours of service have been exchanged – 18,000 hours in 2001 alone. Many projects have been accomplished by groups, such as Midshipmen’s Action Group (from the neighboring Naval Academy) and the Annapolis Senior High School Honor Society, which has adopted the Glenwood High Rise and sponsors two projects there each year.