Ralph, native of Sheridan County, is 83 years old and has lived in the same house for the last 30 year. While on his daily walk around his neighborhood, Ralph’s eye glasses slipped off his face and shattered as they hit the pavement. Being on a fixed income, Ralph didn’t know how he was going to pay for new glasses. He found a park bench to rest his feet on while he figured out what to do. The park bench was an advertisement for Wyoming 211 and the services they provide the community. He thought, “maybe 211 can help me” and decided to call.
The friendly voice of Kim, community resource specialist, answered his call. After a quick intake of questions, Kim learned that Ralph could benefit from talking with Wyoming 211’s Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) Navigator, Tony. Tony is extremely knowledgeable on the ins and outs of resources available to Wyoming’s aging population and was excited to help Ralph.
Tony learned that Ralph was in need of new glasses, but did not have the means to purchase them. He told Ralph about the free vision screening available at The Sheridan Sundowner Lions Club, which would provide him with a prescription for new glasses. Tony informed him, that with his new prescription, he could receive new eye glasses through The New Eyes- glasses for those in need. He was elated at the thought of free glasses.
The next Sheridan resource Tony passed onto Ralph was The Hub on Smith. The Hub on Smith provides nutritious meals and opportunities for people to socialize. He learned that for a suggested donation of $6, he could enjoy an entrée and a salad/soup/sandwich bar. He could even receive a frozen meal or have his meal delivered to him at home. Ralph rarely got to eat with others and was looking forward to visiting The Hub.
Ralph told Tony that he misses volunteering in his community and would like to give back. Tony told him about The Wyoming Senior Citizens Inc. and their Foster Grandparent Program. The program provides an opportunity for older volunteers to have a positive impact on the lives of children in need. Ralph liked the idea of working with children by reading to them and helping them with school work. He was hopeful these new resources would meet his needs.
During his routine follow-up call a week later, Tony learned that Ralph has received an eye glass prescription from The Lions Club and was waiting for his free eye glasses voucher to come in the mail from The New Eyes organization. Ralph couldn’t wait to tell Tony about his visit to The Hub on Smith. He had lunch at The Hub three times last week and made two new friends. He even enjoyed a few evenings playing pinochle and poker with his new buddies.
Ralph had called the Foster Grandparent program and learned that he could earn $4.00 per hour volunteering with children. He considered the hourly stipend an extra bonus since he is on a limited income and was just hoping to give back to his community through volunteer work. He submitted his background check paperwork and was waiting for approval.
Tony asked Ralph if he was in need of any other resource information. Ralph told Tony that he was doing better and things were looking up for him. Ralph knew that he had been connected to more than just resources. He had been connected to hope.