Did you know that May is Senior Citizens Awareness Month?
It's a perfect time to honor an advocate for the elderly with the Giving Your Best Award.
Helen McVicker was a volunteer when she noticed the needs of many seniors living in nursing homes. Without transportation or visiting family members, there was little access to items most of us take for granted, like toiletries, clothing and favorite snacks.
She did a little research to find out which agencies helped these folks- and learned that no one reached out to nursing homes.
Brande Wren is the Activity Director at The Place in Martinez.
"You can walk into a nursing facility and see what the needs are, clearly see, and for somebody to make that happen and create an organization to take care of those needs- it's amazing."
Helen realized many seniors in nursing homes had no way to get a lot of the items many of us don't think twice about, like socks, soap or a new sweater.
"There was just so much need, so I began to investigate who would fill that need... and there wasn't anyone. There was no agency, there's no other agency that caters to the nursing home residents, so somebody had to do it --the need was there-- and I began to fill it."
Her son-in-law, Rick Busby, nominated her for the award, pointing out that Helen really stepped up and founded the non-profit, When Help Can't Wait.
"She distributes them to the nursing homes, the different nursing homes in the area, and she really fills a need that would otherwise go unfilled and provides a service that no one else provides."
Brande has known Helen since 2007, when the non-profit was formed.
"It has meant everything, they provide a service that normally the residents would not get. Things we take for granted, like shampoo or a new blouse, a new pair of shoes... she's able to provide that for my residents and that means a lot to them, cause not all of them have family members that come in to visit or provide what they need."
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