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United Way program to aid senior citizens adopts new name

Jeff Himler
| Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 3:09 p.m.

A United Way program that matches volunteers with Westmoreland County senior citizens who need a helping hand is getting a new name.

United Way of Southwestern PA announced Tuesday that the Westmoreland program known as Faith In Action will operate as Open Your Heart to a Senior, adopting the name used by a similar United Way service in Allegheny County.

The program is part of United Way's United for Seniors initiative that commits resources, funding and people to help local seniors live in their homes with safety and dignity.

“We felt this change was important to strengthen our regional effort, recruit more volunteers and seniors and raise more awareness about the work United Way is doing with local seniors and caregivers,” Bobbi Watt Geer, United Way regional vice president, said in a news release. “By further aligning our initiatives, we'll be able to reach more people in our community who need help. The name ‘Open Your Heart to a Senior' has the program's mission right in its name, which allows for more clarity for potential seniors or volunteers looking for help or an opportunity.”

United Way officials said the Westmoreland program will not change how it operates. It will continue to recruit, train and match volunteers of all ages to help seniors with such services as home safety checks, personal visits and rides to the grocery store or medical appointments.

The Westmoreland program serves about 1,000 seniors and last year mobilized about 300 volunteers to provide more than 8,000 hours of service to older adults and caregivers. Program offices are in Greensburg, Mt. Pleasant, Murrysville, Harrison City and Lower Burrell.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, jhimler@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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