Senior Citizens making a difference in Columbia community - DatelineCarolina

Senior Citizens making a difference in Columbia community

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Members of The Friendship at the kick off event participating in the Tai Chi activity. Members of The Friendship at the kick off event participating in the Tai Chi activity.
Board President Jane Blair is happy to see all of her hard work pay off. Board President Jane Blair is happy to see all of her hard work pay off.
The first member of The Friendship, Sidney Wait, enjoys the independence this program gives her. The first member of The Friendship, Sidney Wait, enjoys the independence this program gives her.

By: Nicole Reighter

The Friendship is a local non-profit organization dedicated to providing services to adults over fifty so they can lead active and healthy lives. It is part of a nation-wide movement that coordinates volunteers and resources to provide services and programs to the elderly.

The new program kicked off yesterday morning. It's the vision board President Jane Blair has been working on for over two years.

"Oh it is so exciting because we've worked so hard and for so long," Blair says.

The key part of The Friendship is that members receive services in the comfort of their own homes. It wants to give its members their independence back. 

This was the main reason The Friendships first member, Sidney Wait, decided to join.

"Getting old lead me to look for some answers about how to approach the waning years," says Wait. "One of the things that was important to me is to be as independent as possible because I've always been impossibly independent."

Wait lives with her two dogs, but has no family in the area. The other members of the Friendship are her new family.

"It's an incredible security. It's terrifying to be alone," Wait says.

The Friendship is only able to offer their services through the help of volunteers like Janice Harris.

"I feel like it's an honor and a pleasure to share a little bit of myself with them in any way that I can," says Harris.

There is an annual fee of $600 to receive the services, or you can become an associate member for $120 a year. Associate members may attend all programs, but only receive one member-reserved service per year.

You can find more information on how to join or become an volunteer on The Friendship website.

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