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Seniors in Allegheny County Get a Helping Hand

Open Your Heart to a Senior might be the area’s best kept “senior secret” Trained OYHS volunteers are available to help seniors all over Allegheny County with snow shoveling, trips to doctor appointments and the grocery store, friendly home visits and telephone calls, and more. Please tell a senior about this wonderful opportunity! There is no charge, and a friendly, caring volunteer is waiting to make a difference. Visit, call 412-307-0071 or toll-free at 866-467-0888, or email

 Second Annual “Hearty Party” Recognizes Volunteers with Heart

Organizations that partner to provide the county-wide Open Your Heart to a Senior program, an initiative of United Way of Allegheny County, recently recognized six Volunteers of the Year at the second annual “Hearty Party: a volunteer appreciation party with heart.” Volunteers were recognized November 13 at the Union Project, Highland Park, for their dedication to the area’s largest age group, senior citizens. Last year, 420 volunteers gave 12,000 hours to 1,500 seniors, providing transportation to medical appointments and shopping, yard work, assistance with letter writing and bill paying, Meals on Wheels, friendly visits, telephone calls and more. The value of volunteer time is estimated at more than $125,000 annually. The Occupational Therapy Student Association of the University of Pittsburgh presented a check for $2,280.27, raised during their Have a Heart for Seniors 5k for the Heart of Gold Fund, which purchases items that help seniors remain safe at home. Six agencies offer OYHS, including the two lead agencies North Hills Community Outreach and Family Services of Western PA, as well as Agewell Pittsburgh, Blind and Vision Rehabiliation Services of Pittsburgh, Centers for Healthy Hearts and Souls, and Lutheran Service Society. Open Your Heart to a Senior Orientations for Interested Volunteers Many area seniors need friendly, caring volunteers to help with yard work, light housecleaning, grocery shopping, providing transportation to a medical appointment, or just a friendly phone call or visit. Open Your Heart to a Senior is committed to helping seniors live safely and independently in their own homes throughout Allegheny County. Orientation sessions provide general information on OYHS volunteer opportunities at AGEWELL, Blind and Vision Rehabilitation, Centers for Healthy Hearts and Souls, Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers, Lutheran Service Society’s Meals on Wheels program and North Hills Community Outreach’s Faith in Action program. Upcoming orientation dates are: Dec. 5 at 9:30a.m.–NHCO, 1975 Ferguson Road, Allison Park, 15101 Dec. 8 at 1p.m. –Family Services of Western PA, 6401 Penn Ave., 2nd Floor, East Liberty, 15206 Dec. 10 at 6p.m.–UPMC Lighthouse Point, 500 Chapel Harbor Drive, Fox Chapel, 15238 Dec. 19 at 5:30p.m. –Family Services of Western PA, 6401 Penn Ave., 2nd Floor, East Liberty, 15206   Safety for Seniors Day will be December 8, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Family Services of Western PA. After an hourlong training session, volunteers will pair up to visit two senior citizens’ homes and evaluate each home for common fall and fire hazards. Visit, call 412-307-0071 or toll-free at 866-467-0888, or email   About Open Your Heart to a Senior OYHS is a signature initiative of the United Way of Allegheny County; Family Services and North Hills Community Outreach are the leading partners. Together these organizations have 400-plus volunteers providing non-medical care for seniors to help them live safely and independently in their own homes for as long as possible. An Initiative of United Way of Allegheny County in cooperation with Family Services of Western Pennsylvania and North Hills Community Outreach  

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