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Fayetteville senior center debuts “Making Connections”

New program aims to connect local volunteers with senior citizens

— Many times, a volunteer will come back each week to do a certain task and develop a personal relationship with that person – which makes “Making Connections” the first program in the area of its kind. Best describes it as an addition to what Friends in Service Here (FISH) already provides - which is strictly drivers who bring seniors to medical appointments.

“We’ve bridged that gap where we’ve gone to the next level and said ‘We will do transportation, but it’s not our forefront,’” she said. “Our forefront is getting someone to do an easy repair, changing a lightbulb, or calling someone to make sure they’re okay. It’s a service that’s available to not just our members, but to the community as well so that they aren’t lonely.”

Additionally, for those people who have more serious repairs that need to be made - such as fixing a roof or painting a house, Best has a reference system in place where she can gives names of people in the community she knows will do a good job.

For now, the program is strictly for people living in the Eastern suburbs because about 80 percent of the volunteers live in Fayetteville. But she says she’s already had seniors living as far away as Jamesville and East Syracuse participate in the program.

“Making Connections” is a free service to any senior citizen in the Eastern suburbs. To sign up for services or to become a volunteer, call 637-9025.

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