Program volunteers connect with isolated Pittsboro seniors
By Lindsay Doty
For the last eight years, Kathie Davis has made weekly wellbeing checks on the elderly in Pittsboro as part of a volunteer program through the Pittsboro Police Department known as O.W.L.S. or Older, Wiser and Loving Seniors.
“I enjoy it. I ask a lot of questions about how they are doing. Do they need help with groceries? How are they feeling? Those little things to let us know they are okay,” said Davis, a longtime Pittsboro resident who has always had a heart for volunteer work. “It makes me feel good because I feel like it made someone’s day.”
Before COVID-19 volunteers also did welfare visits, stopping by nursing homes or hospitals, sometimes bringing special blankets or snacks.
“I have one woman I used to go and feed her at lunchtime at a nursing home. She loves Diet Pepsi, so I would bring her that,” said Davis.
Since the pandemic, the O.W.L.S. program has been limited to phone calls for safety reasons.
“I have a lady in a nursing home, and I can’t go see her or talk to her because she doesn’t have a phone and is somewhat confused. I feel bad. I’ve known her for eight or nine. She probably thinks I deserted her.”
But Davis understands the precautions.
“I miss them. I’m 66, so I need to be careful myself,” she said.
Davis, along with her 21-year-old son Justin and fellow Pittsboro resident Lacy Crafton, are the program’s volunteers.
They currently have a list of 21 seniors who are on the call list. If someone needs help, a police officer is called in. Sometimes, a friendly chat with a senior who is isolated from loved ones makes all the difference.
“I think it can really help,” said Davis.
If you live in or near Pittsboro and would like to volunteer with O.W.L.S. or would like to sign a family member up for a police volunteer wellbeing check, call 317-892-3329.