By SHERRY DIGMON
News Staff Writer
We Are Family Home Care of Atmore is one of two organizations in the state chosen to participate in the GIVE65 Event, the nation’s first and only online giving event focused on nonprofit programs and services that benefit senior citizens.
At a meeting Thursday morning, June 14, We Are Family’s founder Patricia Cross talked about the organization and what this partnership could mean to them.
The name comes from a 65-hour giving period, July 10-12 in which donations will be accepted for We Are Family to benefit seniors in the Atmore area. Not only will donations be accepted, matching grants are available as are prize rewards recognizing outstanding small-, medium-, and large-sized participating nonprofits based on operating budget. Not all participating organizations will receive matching funds, but all participating organizations will be able to compete for financial rewards.
For more information and to donate, visit GIVE65 at www.give65.org. By the way, you don’t have to wait until July 10 to donate. Beginning July 1, you can schedule your donation on the website.
We Are Family’s office is located in the Church Street Incubator, but the work is done in people’s homes.
“We are a family home care program” Cross said. “We are here especially for people who don’t have money to pay for [services] … I look at it that is our responsibility to take care of our own. I’m a Christian – believe we have to help each other … Most people didn’t prepare for getting old. We help those who cannot afford to help themselves. It has been a challenge this past year. When you see us, we’re not knocking on your door for us. It’s for your neighbors … The passion is in me to make a difference in people’s lives. Somebody’s got to make that difference.”
We Are Family serves a two-fold purpose – serving the elderly and giving jobs to people who need them.
“The people we hire need jobs,” Cross said. “They need to take care of their families. We’re hearing a lot about economic development. It starts with grass roots … We train our caregivers. They have to be certified by us. [When needed] we help them with GED and CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant).”
We Are Family does not provide medical care.
Two people whose families have been helped by We Are Family spoke about the difference the agency made in their loved ones’ lives. Mary “Winnie” Hollingsworth and Sharon Hall can attest to the care given by WAF’s employees. (See related column on page 4A of this edition of Atmore News.)
Also on hand at the meeting were WAF Case Manager Adrian Frye, United Bank Community Development Financial Institute Program Manager Jennifer Sanders, independent contractor with WAF Mary Barnes, and several community members.
About We Are Family Home Care Services, Incorporated
We Are Family is an initiative mandated by God to provide a means for the elderly, disabled and caregivers to see the hand of God at work in their lives. WAF is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.
Their vision: To be a conduit for God to use to provide help to His people who are crying out to Him. To offer support for the elderly coping with dementia or other age-related conditions. To represent family.
Their mission: Reach out to the elderly, their caregivers and the disabled in the Baldwin and Escambia County communities. They offer non-medical help in the form of companionship, relief for caregivers, running of errands, grooming, house cleaning, preparation of food and any other non-medical need that may arise. To provide an opportunity for those needing a job and have a heart for caregiving by aiding them in becoming a certified, trained caregiver.
Purpose: There is a threefold purpose. (1) WAF will be fulfilling its mandate by providing help for the needy. (2) The elderly and disabled will receive the needed help to add to the quality of their lives. (3) The newly certified caregivers will have the opportunity to work doing something they love and provide the needed resources for their families.
For more information, visit www.wafhomecare.com.
News photos by Sherry Digmon