211's Sunshine Daily Phone Call for Elders Program Will Shine Brighter Thanks to The Jim Moran Foundation

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Marsha, Sunshine volunteer.

Caring volunteers and staff from 211 Helpline's Sunshine Telephone Reassurance program call several hundred seniors daily to say "Hello" and check on their wellbeing. This program has been in existence for well over 25 years. Diane Huff who oversees 211's Sunshine program feels that the $47,000 grant recently awarded by The Jim Moran Foundation, in addition to the support of The Town of Palm Beach United Way, will allow Sunshine to continue its quality service and reach even more isolated and lonely seniors, many of whom have no friends or family to look in on them.

"There has been a lot of media coverage lately in which senior couples died tragically -- unable to reach out for help and with no one checking in on them…our Sunshine daily calls can make a big difference in preventing outcomes like this," says Diane Huff, director of Operations, 211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast.

211's Sunshine program also helps identify vulnerable seniors who are at risk. Working hand in hand with 211's Elder Crisis Outreach program, these seniors can then be given short-term case management to help them resolve their issues which will then allow them to continue to live safely and independently in their own homes.

"Getting my morning phone call is like warm sunshine…my whole day is much better!" says Sunshine client Carin D. She also states that her outlook on life has become more positive because of this program.

Since December of 2012, three participating seniors have had their lives saved by this simple phone call. Norman S. was one of them.

"Norman ... Are you OK?" "Norman ... Are you OK?" Rosalie DeLibero, a staff member who was making the afternoon Sunshine calls, asked with escalating concern. She noted that his speech was slurred, not his usual clear diction.

211 Sunshine staff were quick to respond as they felt something was seriously wrong with Norman. They continued to stay on the line while coordinating with the area fire and rescue. Within minutes the 211 personnel heard the emergency responders enter Norman's home to begin life-saving efforts. It was determined that Norman was having a stroke.

"I would not be here if it weren't for my Sunshine call. They did a great job and covered all the bases!" said Norman, who has since done wonderfully in his rehab facility and has been released home.

211 staff members Abby and Rosalie on visit with Norman<.

211's Sunshine program is free and available to seniors 60 and over, the housebound or disabled. If you or someone you know would like a free daily phone call, or for more information, simply dial 2-1-1. You can also visit www.211treasurecoast.org to learn more. Nonprofit 211 Helpline's mission is to connect people to services 24 hours a day by understanding their individual emotional, financial and community needs and to support the health & human service system as a whole.

Founded by automotive pioneer Jim Moran, the mission of The Jim Moran Foundation is to improve the quality of life for the youth and families of Florida through the support of innovative programs and opportunities that meet the ever-changing needs of the community. The Foundation has invested more than $40 million in education, elder care, family strengthening, after school and youth transitional living initiatives since its inception in 2000 with efforts currently focused in Broward, Palm Beach and Duval counties. Through a long-term Grant Agreement, The Foundation's significant funders are JM Family Enterprises, Inc., and its subsidiaries, including Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC. It is located at 100 Jim Moran Blvd., Deerfield Beach, Fla. 33442. To learn more, visit www.jimmoranfoundation.org or call (954) 429-2122.