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Telephone calls to seniors "Making a Difference" | News

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Telephone calls to seniors "Making a Difference"

Tampa, Florida -- A greeting. "Morning Joanne, you sound chipper today."

A chuckle. "Well, it's supposed to get warmer later."

A well wish. "Have a wonderful day."

Just a few short words can make a difference in someone's life and that's what the Telephone Reassurance program is all about.

Sponsored by the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, volunteers like Phyllis Roth call about 250 people every weekday. Senior citizens and the disabled are on the list and she checks on their well-being.

"They just appreciate it. I get more 'God- bless yous' and 'thank-yous'," says Roth, who has made the calls for about a year. "It makes me feel good. It's uplifting to me."

If someone can't be reached by phone, efforts are then made to have a friend or relative physically check on them. And besides the daily calls, the free program also delivers holiday gifts and birthday cards.

Friends Macy Reinehart and Mildred Hatton both receive the calls. Even though the neighbors in a Tampa apartment complex check on each other, the call is just another measure of security.

"I feel like somebody is wantin' to know how I'm doing," says 91-year-old Hatton. "And they're very, very sweet."

It's a friendly voice at the end of the line. "You have a happy, healthy New Year."

There's a nice ring to it.

If you or a relative would like to participate in or volunteer for the program, in Hillsborough you can call 211.


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