Samaritan Services provides solutions
By PHYLLIS HODGES
Unless you are one of the 250 or so volunteers, or have benefitted from the efforts of Samaritan Services, chances are you don’t know what a community asset it is.
You might see their cars parked outside the Samaritan headquarters building on N. Pebble Beach Blvd., which hint of a transportation service of some kind — but there is so much more.
Board President Lee Everett has an interesting perspective on the Samaritan Service and the Samaritan Alzheimer’s Auxiliary team. “Our volunteers are like a variety of rare aged cheeses. They add flavor to the recipe,” she said. “Our board members all have different talents, and they use them to make a great product.
“We get calls from all over the country asking about support services, and they are impressed when we tell them about what Samaritans can offer. We would not be able to do what we do at no cost to residents if not for those who give generously of their time.”
Everett is justifiably proud of all the volunteers, especially the eight-member “working board.” Director Chris Hubbach, for example, is in charge of the cars. They have eight cars, two that take residents to medical appointments outside of Sun City Center (Brandon, Tampa and Bradenton, for example). For that service, a minimum of two weeks advance notice is advisable. Call the office at 813-634-9283.
The other six cars are designated for SCC Ride, a sub-group that provides transportation in Sun City Center for daily living activities like doctor appointments and shopping. Sun City Center Ride is coordinated by Director Julie Floyd. It operates on a “first come, first serve” basis Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call 813-633-6111 to arrange for this service.
Last year, they transported about 1,000 people to medical appointments outside Sun City Center and 7,000 or so around the local area from Sun Point Plaza on the west to Kings Crossing Plaza on the east.
That’s not all. Do you need to leave the house for an hour or so to attend to personal matters and light grocery shopping but can’t leave a loved one home alone? Samaritan’s Companion Care service can help. Volunteers will come to your home to give you that precious time. For this service, call 813-934-9283.
Have questions about your medical insurance? Samaritans can point you to the proper government agency for help. Call 1-800-963-5337.
Samaritan Services also plays a big part in the area’s Meals on Wheels program that last year delivered about 7,000 evening meals ($6 each) to those who are unable to prepare regular, nutritious meals for themselves. South Bay Hospital prepares the meals, SCC Woman’s Club volunteers deliver them and Samaritan Director Linda Corbin handles the coordination and paperwork. To schedule meal delivery, call 813-634-9283.
The Samaritan Alzheimer’s Auxiliary functions under the umbrella of Samaritan Services, but has a separate board. The Auxiliary’s Alzheimer’s Support Group is a monthly gathering to share, support and learn with others who are also caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. Call them at 813-634-9283.
Samaritan Services also provides Alzheimer’s Respite Care to give caregivers a period of relief from their everyday stress. This might be in the form of seven days of temporary care in an assisted living facility, day care at an adult day care, or in-home care by a health professional. President Dolores Berens coordinates these activities.
Samaritan Services is funded solely by contributions from individuals, clubs, organizations, businesses and proceeds from an occasional fundraiser. Two fundraisers are planned for January. First, on Jan. 22, the SCC Rotary Club is sponsoring a Classic Car Show at Freedom Plaza to benefit the Auxiliary and local scholarship programs. For more information, call 813-634-0631. The second is a dance at Community Hall on Jan. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. Taylor & Taylor will be performing a variety of classic rock, contemporary, country, pop and rock music. Tickets are $10 and available at the Samaritan Services office, 1207 Pebble Beach Blvd. N., Sun City Center.
For more information on Samaritan Services or to inquire about volunteer opportunities, call 813-634-9283.
Main office 634-9283
In SCC area 633-6111
Outside of SCC 634-9283
Will sit with a loved one for an hour or so 634-9283
Medical Insurance Help
Meals on Wheels 634-9283
Alzheimer’s Respite Care
A break for caregivers 634-9283