Field of Work: Providing volunteer services for elderly and disabled people through interfaith programs.
Problem Synopsis: In 1983, more than 10 million American elderly or persons with chronic disabilities had limited ability to carry on such essential activities of daily living as feeding, dressing, and bathing. Such individuals usually require a mix of medical and supportive services to help with ordinary activities of daily living such as feeding, bathing, dressing, housekeeping and transportation.
Synopsis of the Work: From 1983 to 2008, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) funded more than 1,700 projects across the country to support interfaith volunteer caregiving through three national programs. The projects brought together coalitions of congregations, social service organizations and other organizations to engage and organize volunteers to provide services to people in need, especially those who were frail, elderly and homebound.
Providing rides to a doctor's office, the grocery store and other essential places became one of the central activities of many Faith in Action projects. In 2007, the Beverly Foundation, which works to promote senior transportation and mobility based in Pasadena, Calif., carried out a survey of the Faith in Action transportation projects. At the time of the survey, about 500 of the existing 700 Faith in Action projects provided transportation services.
Key Results: The Beverly Foundation announced two winners of its STAR Awards for Excellence from among the 225 projects that responded to the survey:
- Macomb County Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers Warren, Michigan (RWJF ID# 032346, Phase 2)
- Rum River Interfaith Caregivers, Inc. Princeton, Minnesota (RWJF ID# 029372, Phase 2)