A Day for Moving the Spirit Forward in Pennsylvania

A Day for Moving the Spirit Forward in Pennsylvania


The Concept, in brief:

The Department in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Council on Aging (PCoA) and its five Regional Councils on Aging will work with local Senior Centers and First Responders throughout Pennsylvania to implement a National Day of Service and Remembrance.   The Pennsylvania Day for Moving the Spirit Forward project will be organized by 35 Regional PCoA members from all corners of Pennsylvania.  These 35 local volunteers will work with their Senior Centers to mobilize additional volunteers for a day of service and remembrance throughout their communities.  We anticipate that each of the 35 Regional members will be able to mobilize 2 Senior Centers for a total of 50 additional volunteers per center; this will result in a total of 1,785 volunteers.  September 9, 2011 would be the formal day of service and remembrance.

How it will be organized:

In order to reach our targeted number of volunteers, the Regional PCoA members will invite local First Responders to assist in motivating and mobilizing local senior volunteers. During the week prior to the day of service and remembrance, local First Responders will participate in planned visits to Senior Centers to discuss the event of 9/11/01 and  talk about how their lives and their work have changed since that tragedy.  It will create a time for serious reflection on both the events of 9/11 and on how communities came together in resolve and strength.  In that spirit, we anticipate that many of the Senior Center members will participate in a statewide day of service.

The Department of Aging’s commitment:

The Department of Aging through its Council on Aging (21 members) and its 5 associated Regional Councils (15 members each) is committed to using its resources to make The Pennsylvania Day for Moving the Spirit Forward. It is also committing its public relations and press resources to assure that items such as: “save-the-date” and flyers announcing the project as well as standardized “pledge cards” are available throughout the Commonwealth.  Following the First Responder’s presentation and discussion, seniors will be asked to sign-up for volunteering. They will be asked to distribute pledge cards and flyers to friends and organizations such as RSVP as a way to encourage additional volunteers committed to that day of service.  As a special commitment, we will work closely with our Senior Centers in Somerset County where Flight 93 crashed. 

The pledge card will include the name of the volunteer and their home telephone number (which will be collected by the Regional PCoA member for accountability.) On the pledge card will be a check list of possible volunteer opportunities such as working at a homeless shelters, food banks, or soup kitchen. The Secretary of Aging will write a letter of introduction and support for our Pennsylvania Day for Moving the Spirit Forward to those organizations that will be the potential site for volunteering. On the day of service the volunteer will have the pledge card signed and dated by the head of the organization they volunteered with.  A benefit of the act of volunteering at an organization will be the recognition that persons over 60 years of age can be valued throughout their communities.

Finally, since The Department of Aging receives and accounts for various Federal funds, Administration on Aging, Health and Human Services, etc. it is thoroughly familiar with Federal financial requirements.