A dedicated crew of 35 volunteers from nine neighborhoods, from south of East Grant Road all the way up North Mountain Avenue to East River Road, are determined to help senior citizens in the area.
The volunteers are part of Lend a Hand, a nonprofit group that aids the elderly with tasks, such as getting to the doctor, that would be hard for them to do without help.
Volunteers help seniors age 55 and up with things such as yard work, transportation, relief for caretakers and house repairs - all for free.
The house repairs consist of anything from installing air conditioners to building wheelchair ramps.
Lend a Hand has been around for almost six years. Its volunteers continue to help for the sheer satisfaction of it and other reasons, too, said Michele Brubaker, the program's volunteer coordinator.
"Some do it because they can't do it for their parents or grandparents," she said. "The thanks you get from doing something for someone is long-reaching."
The program assists more than two dozen seniors a month.
"Some we help occasionally and some regularly, such as taking them to doctor's appointments," Brubaker said.
Alan Adler, who is on Lend a Hand's board of directors, said he understands just how important the volunteers are: "I have been the beneficiary of the program myself."
In early 2010 Adler, 68, had knee-replacement surgery and was left without a means of transportation. Lend A Hand volunteers drove him to and from physical therapy and doctor's appointments.
"I was extremely happy to receive the service, and now to give the service," he said.
Adler works with seniors and helps coordinate events, such as a yard sale this month and an arts and crafts fair in October, to raise money for the organization.
The Junior League recently gave Lend a Hand a $1,000 grant to hold a Senior Canteen event, where senior citizens can get together, listen to music and play games. The Senior Canteen is still in the planning process.
Lend a Hand is trying to get as many programs going as possible, Brubaker said.
"It's a hard time for nonprofits," she said, "but we're trying to collaborate with whoever we can."
How to volunteer
To get involved with the Lend a Hand program, call Michele Brubaker at 248-6882 or fill out a volunteer form at www.lahseniorhelp.org/interestForm.aspx
If you go
Yard sale to benefit Lend a Hand
• When: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday
• Where: 1545 E. Water St.
Lend a Hand Arts and Crafts Fair
• When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 15
• Where: Mountain Avenue Church of Christ, 2848 N. Mountain Ave.
• Etc.: The fair will feature live music from four different bands, and several artists are set to participate.
Krystal Jenkins is a University of Arizona journalism student who is an apprentice at the Star. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 807-7776.