Mobilizing Volunteers. Many individuals, community groups and churches want to coordinate with the state to help care for our seniors. Missouri needs an increased sense of cooperation between the state and those who care about older Missourians. A few states have developed â€œphone assuranceâ€? programs where an individual can volunteer to contact a senior on a regular basis. These programs not only provide seniors with vitally important social interaction, but also allow the volunteer to assess whether their senior is in need of additional services. The volunteer can act as an ombudsman, making sure that the person they contact is receiving the services he or she needs and is legally entitled to receive. Missouri should develop a program similar to this and other programs that seek to emphasize the fact that we must all take responsibility for the health and well being of our seniors.
Volunteerism is, of course, one of America’s great strengths and I’ve personally seen its success in this field. My grandmother was director of a senior citizens center in a small town in southwest Missouri the last 15 years of her life. During her time there they built, moved into and paid for a new building, mostly on the proceeds of local volunteer efforts and private donations. They ran the place efficiently. Their efforts to raise funds locally and use their funds efficiently led to some added funds being delivered by then Governor John Ashcroft.
Side note: The Ashcroft administration had the policy, which I think Blunt shares, of encouraging growth and of being such a wise steward of every taxpayer dollar that money was available to improve education, provide for seniors and so on. In other words by building business in the state, prioritizing programs and then spending wisely, Blunt will actually be able do more of the things that Democrats propose but can’t seem to adequately fund because they’re beholden to bureaucrats and unions.
Side note 2: My Grandma Mickey who I mentioned was very proud of a photo shaking hands with then Governor Ashcroft. He was not the first Governor she had shaken hands with as she was a Democrat state committeewoman. She was a British national who got her US citizenship specifically to vote for John Kennedy. At the time she said that John Ashcroft was the one Republican with whom she would shake hands. It utterly drives me nuts hearing know nothing Washington liberals paint this good hearted man as some sort of modern day Hitler when in fact he is the furthest thing from it.