PLYMOUTH - Whatever your age, the Marshall County Council on Aging (MCCOA) can get you to your destination. Helen Peer is well aware of the service and how United Way supports this program that helps her stay mobile.
Long before she needed a lift for health reasons, she loved heading off into the unknown. She and her husband, who passed some years ago, loved to go on ‘Mystery Tours’. It wasn’t just the mystery of it—it was the destination as well.
“You never knew where you were going,” she said. “We loved the Mystery Tours. We went to a lot of wonderful places like Catalina Island and Mackinac Island but the Mystery Tours were the best.”
At 92, the Plymouth resident hasn’t lost her love of adventure. While she may enjoy the mystery on one of her travel adventures, Helen also loves knowing exactly where she’s going when she uses the public transportation services provided by the Marshall County Council on Aging and funding support by the United Way of Marshall County.
“I call it the ‘Senior Van’ and I love it,” she said. “I take it to LifePlex for my exercises for my hip.”
Helen had surgery to remove part of her pancreas several years ago and then developed hip trouble. While several doctors suggested surgery, Helen and her family were determined not to undergo another procedure in less than a year.
With medication and therapy in the specially designed pool at LifePlex, Helen has avoided that surgery. Though she is still able to drive herself at times, the transport provided by the Council on Aging is key to her continuing to stay mobile in more ways than one.
“I think this is a really great service and I’m so happy that we have it in Plymouth,” she said. “I call them and they come and get me at home. When I’m done, they come and get me at LifePlex.”
It also has another benefit.
“When you get out of the warm therapy pool and shower and dress in the winter, it’s nice to not have to walk in the cold to your car,” she said. “They pick me up right at the door.”
While the ride is free to Helen, as it is to all seniors going to medical services, she still likes to pay her own way—especially when it comes to something she believes in.
“We’ve always supported the United Way and other causes in the community like the Neighborhood Center,” she said. “I thought ‘I’m riding all the time. I want my money to go to making sure that they keep this service available’.” Helen has been donating to United Way long before she needed a ride. She has been a faithful, consistent donor for more than 20 years.
MCCOA receives funding from United Way and Jackie Wright, Executive Director, chairs the monthly meetings of United Way Directors Association (UWDA). The meetings afford an opportunity for the agencies to collaborate and share information from which many partnerships have been formed. They have been a Member Agency for many years. She has applied for 2014 support, integral to the transportation program. MCCOA’s United Way dollars provide a local match that brings additional resources into the community to support these vital services.
Though public transportation is free for riders over 60 going to medical services (thanks to Title III Older Americans Act funds), anyone can ride because Marshall County Council on Aging also offers transportation to the general public. Rides are as low as $2.50 per boarding and the Plymouth Community Cab provides on-demand transportation service within the Plymouth city limits for the same low rate of $2.50 per trip. Lift-equipped vans are available and personal attendants, service animals and oxygen equipment ride for free. The vans now service Bremen on Mondays, Culver on Wednesdays and Bourbon on Thursdays. Call (574) 936-9904 to make a reservation as late as 5:30. More details are available at MCOOA’s website: www.marshallcountycouncilonaging.org.
For more information about how you can support these services and many more across Marshall County, call the United Way of Marshall County offices at 574.936.3366 or visit www.marshallcountyuw.org.
ABOUT THE UNITED WAY OF MARSHALL COUNTY For over 50 years, the United Way of Marshall County has continuously conducted annual fundraising campaigns in support of local health and human service not-for-profit organizations. The United Way has been the conduit for helping thousands of individuals, regardless of income level, contribute to a united community cause. United Way volunteers have spent millions of hours advocating for the less fortunate and needy in Marshall County and contributing to programs that help strengthen and support healthy vibrant communities. As a result, the United Way has allocated more than $8 million to local agencies for everything from basic necessities like food to tutoring programs for youth to helping the elderly get to the doctor. The United Way of Marshall County remains committed to igniting the caring power of the human spirit to help meet the most basic needs of education, health and financial stability. Together we create a stronger future for Marshall County.