Organization assists seniors as pandemic forges ahead

A local organization that helps seniors is trying to prepare for the winter months ahead, but it's coming up short on volunteers.

With support needed now amid increased demand, volunteers are making trips up and down the aisles for those who are unable.

Tillie Franks volunteers for Eras Senior Network

"I have an elderly woman I serve and do her grocery shopping for her," Franks said. "She is alone, she's in a senior house, there is no one for her."

Tillie Franks volunteers for Eras Senior Network

Working the non-profit, which serves seniors and adults with liabilities, Franks stepped up after others briefly stepped down -- many of whom are seniors themselves, trying to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"With COVID-19 right now we have 135 of our volunteer drivers temporarily taking a break, so we are really seeing a need to recruit volunteer drivers," Heather Ozowulu, development director at Eras, said. "That is why we are doing the Drive, Give, Serve campaign, to recruit 100 more volunteers drivers by Dec. 5 which is International Volunteer Day.

Tillie Franks volunteers for Eras Senior Network

Uzowulu said that with the pandemic, coupled with flu season, more seniors are being shut-in. But as they are struggling in isolation, the program also provides hope.

"It’s just rewarding to me," said Franks. "You've got to have courage in a time like this and just forget yourself. You can't just think of yourself. Someday, I may need this help."

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Eras serves seniors in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. While volunteers deliver groceries to homes, they're needed for so much more.

"Transportation to medical appointments, the delivery of groceries and stock boxes, senior yard clean and we also do weekly wellness phone calls," said Uzowulu.

If you would like to learn more on how to volunteer, CLICK HERE.