Archived Story

Volunteer Connections to host several programs to benefit senior citizens

Published 6:43pm Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Volunteer Connections of Central Alabama, Inc. is set to offer numerous programs to benefit senior citizens in a variety of ways.
On Thursday, Nov. 7, the VCCA will host the first in a series of informational programs – titled Lunch and Learn Opportunities – that will cover topics such as identity theft, learning to use social media, making healthier snacks and being fiscally responsible.
“We’re a United Way affiliate, and we appreciate their support, but with that community tie-in comes community awareness,” said Carley Cummins, VCCA project director. “We want people to be aware of their surroundings and what’s out there.”
One of the programs being offered is Crime Prevention and Awareness. Sgt. James Orr of the Alexander City Police Department will lead a 45 to 60-minute discussion on ways attendees can minimize the risk of being victimized.
Additionally, Orr will discuss how criminals choose their targets, as well as when and how they are committing certain crimes.
“This is something that Sgt. Orr has done several times,” Cummins said. “He’s done a wonderful job of it. He comes from the perspective of how not to set yourself up to be a victim, and I think that’s the beauty of this program. It makes you stop and think about all the things that we do without thinking about them.”
Additionally, Orr is expected to discuss ways to protect against identity theft.
Following that presentation, Orr will present the Yellow Dot program – a statewide initiative that is designed to better assist citizens and medical respondents in times of emergency.
“What happens here is that Sgt. Orr would take your picture and that goes into a folder with all of your pertinent information – such as medical history and blood type,” Cummins said. “You’ll also get a yellow dot to put on the back window of your car, and when first respondents see that dot, they know that they can go into your glove compartment and get all the info they need to best help you.”
According to Cummins, if anyone who is currently in the program needs to update information, they can do so at that meeting. Orr will provide dots for every vehicle owned by those in the program.
On Friday, Nov. 8, Cummins will lead a Facebook workshop where she will guide senior citizens through the ins and outs of the social networking site.
The number of attendees for this event is limited, and those who attend must have an active Facebook profile page.
“More and more families are communicating through the computer,” Cummins said. “Unfortunately, some seniors citizens don’t know how to utilize social networking and computers, and they feel left out. This is to help better connect them to their family and bridge that digital divide. In addition, it’s a smart idea for parents to have a Facebook page so they can track their kids’ pages.”
Cummins will cover a multitude of aspects relating to Facebook, ranging from how to install a cover photo as well as the importance of account and security settings.
The following Thursday (Nov. 14), Steve Kerr of BB&T Bank will lead a discussion called Fiscal Fitness, where he will discuss with senior citizens ways they can avoid falling prey to con artists.
“There’s a lot of scams out there that target senior citizens,” Cummins said. “Every time we do our taxes, we get messages from the I.R.S. talking about the latest scams out there.”
On Nov. 15, Sandra Patten, a retired nurse will present a workshop on how to prepare healthier snacks and finger foods.
Recipes and samples will be provided.
With the Lunch and Learn Opportunities, guests are asked to bring their own lunch. Tea and dessert will be provided.
Cummins also said that those interested in attending should call ahead, particularly for the finger food workshop and the Facebook workshop, so that the VCCA will have a better idea of how much food they will need to provide.
“People can call anytime up to the morning of the events,” she said.
For more information, contact the VCCA at 256-234-0347, visit the organization’s blog at or visit the VCCA’s Facebook page.