Tampa Bay, Fla. (May 8, 2020) – Seniors in Service of Tampa Bay is pleased to announce a generous $50,000 donation from Suncoast Credit Union to support local COVID-19 response efforts in our community. This donation to Seniors in Service provides donors a dollar for dollar match on donations up to $50,000.
Seniors in Service will use the funds to provide TelePals telephone reassurance for lonely seniors, offering social connection and wellness checks at no charge to them. Caring, trained volunteer TelePals ask considerate questions, offer friendly conversation, communicate cheerfully about daily life and common interests, check on their client’s well-being, provide updated COVID-19 information, and refer concerns to expert resources.
“Seniors in Service is so grateful to Suncoast Credit Union for their generous support of TelePals – ongoing friendly calls to check in on isolated seniors. For some, it’s the only human connection they’ll have all day,” stated Seniors in Service CEO, Robin Ingles. “The needs of elders, particularly low-income elders, is not a sexy topic. Now with COVID-19 it’s even more complex. It’s easy to underestimate the danger of isolation. Loneliness in elders eclipses obesity and even smoking in factors contributing to rapid decline. Reaching out to people with just friendly conversation is easy – anyone can do it. And it can make a vital difference in someone’s life.”
This donation from Suncoast Credit Union, Florida’s largest credit union, is part of a one million dollar donation to provide economic relief to those affected by COVID-19 in the communities they serve. While Suncoast has been an active member of the communities it serves both as a community partner and through the funding of the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, this donation is the first of its size during the credit union’s 86-year history.
“While we are focused on supporting our members financially, we feel a moral obligation to support other basic needs during this very challenging time. We admire and are inspired by other charitable organizations who are providing relief through private donations like ours,” said Suncoast Credit Union President & CEO Kevin Johnson. “People are struggling through no fault of their own and because of the support of our Board of Directors, Suncoast is committed to doing what we can to address these serious needs.”
Here’s what differentiates TelePal from other telephone reassurance offerings: Decades serving elders by engaging and retaining trained volunteers; Best practices from an experienced Senior Corps affiliate; Well-defined workflow process executed by dedicated TelePal Coordinators; Participant screenings; Ongoing e-training for volunteers; Regular surveys to evaluate progress; and Collaboration with community partners for referrals. Enrolling is quick and easy for elders who need support and volunteers who want to help on www.TelePalNow.org.
About Seniors in Service of Tampa Bay, Inc.
Seniors in Service provides solutions to community challenges by engaging volunteers aged 55+. Founded in 1984 as a non-profit 501(c)3, we meet the needs and challenges of at-risk seniors, veterans and children. Our vibrant senior-age volunteers also benefit from staying active and purposeful. We serve over 5000 individuals annually in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties, engaging 500+ volunteers in collaboration with 150+ community partners. During 35 years of service, we have provided over 5 million hours of community assistance with fair market value exceeding $76,000,000. At Seniors in Service we are “GEARED UP TO SERVE!” For more information visit: www.seniorsinservice.org or follow us on social media at www.facebook.com/seniorsinservice.
About Suncoast Credit Union
Suncoast Credit Union is the largest credit union in the state of Florida, the ninth largest in the United States based on membership, and the 10th largest in the United States based on its $11.4 billion in assets. Chartered in 1934 as Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union currently operates 71 full-service branches and serves more than 884,000 members in the following 39 Florida counties: Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Leon, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter and Volusia. Since its founding in 1990, the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation has raised and donated more than $29 million to organizations and initiatives that support the health, education and emotional well-being of children in the communities that the credit union serves. For more information, visit: suncoastcreditunion.com or follow us on social media at: Facebook.com/SuncoastCreditUnion, Linkedin.com/company/suncoastcreditunion, Twitter.com/SuncoastCU or instagram.com/suncoastcreditunion.