Project staff at the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast in Clearwater, Fla., established an interfaith volunteer caregivers project, which trained volunteers to provide services for the frail elderly and people with chronic and terminal illnesses in Pinellas County, Fla.
The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program Faith in Action, Replication of the Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers Program.
The Caregivers United project recruited a coalition of 21 faith communities and area service organizations to participate in the two projects.
Project staff organized teams of caregiving groups at 11 faith communities. Each faith community had its own autonomous program of volunteer caregivers and a volunteer coordinator who assumed responsibility for management of the congregation's caregiving program, its volunteers and its work with members in need.
Volunteers provided services to 263 people during the project. Services provided included friendly visits, transportation, meal preparation, assistance with shopping, respite care and personal care.
Project staff started a new teen volunteer project in South St. Petersburg, a predominantly African-American area that had not been served earlier. Volunteer coordinators recruited 36 teens to regularly visit home-bound people in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.