Bringing seniors and their neighbors together virtually
NORTH HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth came up with the program Neighbors Helping Neighbors for seniors to enjoy the companionship of other residents without putting anyone at risk. Her goal is to help the older population feel less isolated during the coronavirus pandemic.
"We're all experiencing a wide range of emotions but this program is designed to ease fears and provide support," Bosworth said.
The town pairs volunteers with seniors who have similar backgrounds and interests. North Hempstead resident John Morse was genuinely concerned for elderly individuals who are encouraged to stay home.
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"I think my motivation is reaching out and helping others because candidly it's a way to pick up myself and there's a ripple effect," Morse said.
Lina is on the receiving end. She said a comforting voice makes you feel like you're not alone.
"It makes me feel really secure, better that someone is looking out for me that no one in the world is alone," she said.
In less than a month, close to 60 volunteers signed up for the Neighbors program and half have already been paired with a senior whom they call at least once a week.
"This is just a way of reaching out to say you're not alone, we're here with you, we're working together, we're a team and family," Bosworth said.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran touts the town's program and said she is considering making it countywide.