Jack Futrick

Jack Futrick has been a Blair Senior Services, Inc. volunteer for the past 13 years.

Jack started his volunteer work with Blair Senior Services, Inc. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA).  Jack stated, “Well, when you are retired it can be challenging to find things to do. I had taken a tax course many years earlier so I thought it was a good place to start.”  In addition to VITA, Jack now volunteers for the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program through Blair Senior Services.

Jack helps prepare consumers’ taxes through the VITA program during the tax season at our Northern Blair Senior Center location. If eligible, Jack will also assist consumers with Property and/or Rent Rebates after preparing their tax return.  For the Farmers’ Market program, he interviews the consumers to see if they qualify and, if so, will issue the Farmers’ Market vouchers to them.  With the Commodity Box program, he verifies the consumer’s or proxy’s identity and obtains signatures to confirm the consumer’s box was picked up for the month. At the time of recertification, he assists by checking ID and confirming income eligibility.  “They are such great programs that really help the older adults in the area,” Jack said.

When asked what he liked the most about volunteering for Blair Senior Services, “I love to meet the people and when I am done helping them just the smiles on their face.  The complete gratitude they have is such a great reward.  I like meeting so many new people also,” Jack said.  One special memory he has is of a woman who came in to have her taxes done. Jack explained, “Once I was done with her taxes and she saw how much she would be getting back in a refund, and the fact she wasn’t charged for the taxes being done, she started to cry with appreciation. I will never forget how grateful she was.”

    Jack said they are always in need of help with the VITA program and all the volunteer programs at Blair Senior Services, Inc.  “You should try volunteering.  Such a rewarding feeling knowing you are helping others,” he said.    

If you or your group is interested in volunteering for this program or any of the programs offered, please call Blair Senior Services, Inc. at 814-946-1235.

Patricia Reidy

Patricia Reidy has been volunteering for the Apprise Program and VITA Program at Blair Senior Services for the last 4 years. Patricia volunteers 1 day a week answering phones for the Apprise program.  Patricia worked for the telephone company for 45 years so she thought this would be a good fit for her. During tax season, she volunteers 3 days a week helping prepare taxes.  “It has helped me to keep busy”, states Patricia. 

For Apprise, Patricia answers the phones and helps to answer very basic Medicare questions and is able to acquire information to direct the person calling to the right office or Medicare insurance counselor.

When asked what she likes the most about volunteering for Blair Senior Services, Patricia  stated,

“Everyone at Blair Senior Services is so helpful and nice.  I enjoy getting out of my house and being able to give back.”

Patricia would definitely encourage others to help volunteer saying, “There is always a need. Blair Senior Services provides so many services to the area and the more people who help the better it is for the volunteers and the consumers. It is a great way to stay busy and give back.”

If you or your group is interested in volunteering for this program or any of the programs offered, please call Blair Senior Services, Inc. at 814-946-1235. 

Harold Snyder

Harold Snyder has been volunteering for the VITA Program at Blair Senior Services, Inc. for the last 18 years. Harold started originally as an employee for Blair Senior Services in 1999, working at the information desk and security services. In 2000, he began helping with the VITA Program. When he retired, he decided to continue with volunteering to do taxes with the VITA Program at Blair Senior Services, Inc.

Harold volunteers at the Blair Senior Services’ Central Blair Senior Center by assisting consumers with preparing their taxes.

When asked what he liked the most about volunteering for Blair Senior Services, Harold stated “I enjoy helping the people with being able to provide them with a free service that many on fixed incomes may not be able to afford. They are appreciative and it’s so rewarding knowing I am able to help them.”

When asked if he had a special memory while volunteering for Blair Senior Services, Harold said, “I have met so many nice people over the years. Even the ones that have passed away, I still remember them. I know one gentleman came in and was rather upset about getting his taxes done and actually left the paperwork and walked out. I completed his return and called him. He was so happy and appreciative that he comes back every year for me to do his taxes and is much happier about it. It is nice knowing that I made his experience a better one.”

Harold would encourage anyone to give the VITA Program a try saying, “It is such a help to so many in the community. It is also a much needed service for our area seniors. You receive training and I can say all the volunteers have fun and the seniors are so appreciative.”

If you or your group is interested in volunteering for this program or any of the programs offered, please call Blair Senior Services, Inc. at 814-946-1235.

Mary Ann Hofer

Mary Ann Hofer has been volunteering for the Foster Grandparent Program at Blair Senior Services for the last 17 years. Mary Ann volunteers 5 days a week from 8 a.m. until Noon.   Mary Ann heard about the Blair Senior Services’ program through word of mouth and decided to give it a try. 

Mary Ann’s volunteer site is at the Altoona Area High School volunteering in the School Age Parent Program. There, Mary Ann helps with skills for the students and nurturing of the infants and toddlers.  Mary Ann says, “I talk to the children and hug and kiss them. Lots of hugs I give and get in return.  I give enough love to fill any empty spots there may be. ”

When asked what she liked the most about volunteering for Blair Senior Services, Mary Ann stated “I absolutely love everyone with my whole heart. Everyone at Blair Senior Services, in the offices, the van drivers are all so very nice.  Then the people at the school, Mrs. Resko and all the teachers are so good to me.  The students call me Gram.  Who doesn’t need an extra Gram?  I just love so much what I do and I have lots of fun.  I look forward to each day.”  Mary Ann does get paid a stipend for volunteering but said it doesn’t compare to the amount of reward she gets from volunteering.

When asked if she had a special memory while volunteering for Blair Senior Services, Mary Ann said, “There are too many to mention and really every day something special happens.”

Mary Ann would encourage anyone to give the Foster Grandparent Program a try saying, “If you love kids, this is the program for you!”

If you or your group is interested in volunteering for this program or any of the programs offered, please call Blair Senior Services, Inc. at 814-946-1235. 

Rita Griffith

Rita Griffith has been a Senior Companion at Blair Senior Services, Inc. for 4 days a week for the last 20 years.  Rita said that her husband had been a Senior Companion and after he passed away she decided she wanted to volunteer to do the same with Blair Senior Services.

Currently, Rita’s volunteer site is at the ALSM Senior Daily Living Center where she assists a consumer with some routine daily activities and provides peer support.  In talking with Rita, there is no doubt of her genuine care and concern for not only the senior she is companion to, but everyone at the Center, both consumers and volunteers.

When asked what she liked the most about volunteering for Blair Senior Services, Rita stated “I really just love helping the elderly people.  All of these people are my friends. I try to treat everyone as how I would want to be treated.  You really get as much as you give! I truly look forward to every day I get to spend volunteering.  As of this September 15th, I have been doing this for 4 days a week for 20 years.  Only every once in a great while I might have to take a day off, but I try not to!  I love it as much now as when I started.”

Rita said that she would encourage anyone to give the Senior Companion Program a try saying, “Once you try it you will see that it is as good for you as it is the person you are giving companionship to.”

If you or your group is interested in volunteering for this program or any of the programs offered, please call Blair Senior Services, Inc. at 814-946-1235.