Bringing out the best: Daystar Church looking after seniors

Daystar Church

CULLMAN, Ala. – In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, seniors are statistically the most vulnerable population and have to take extra precautions to guard against exposure to the disease. Recognizing the specific needs that its own seniors may have during this time; Daystar Church is implementing an “adopt-a-senior” plan for its congregation.

Daystar Global Outreach Director Chris Hopper shared, “The main goal is to make sure that our older generations do not fall through the cracks and become forgotten during this unprecedented time.”

Hopper told Tribune, “We’re asking a family to adopt (five) seniors. And what that would mean is that they would call them, they would make sure that they had all of their meals, and they would make sure that if they needed someone to take them to the grocery store or needed groceries (or prescriptions) picked up, that they would do that. If they just need some company, because a lot of these seniors live by themselves, or they’re very isolated, because they’re amongst a very vulnerable population.”

Hopper specified later that volunteers will abide by all distancing and quarantine regulations, and that they will keep seniors company by phone.

According to the plan, volunteers must “be willing to assist with grocery and/or prescription pick-up for your seniors once a week (local regulations permitting).” They will work with seniors who can pay for their items, to do budgeting and arrange payment. For seniors who cannot afford groceries or medicines, the church will offer financial assistance through its central office.

Church members who volunteer to participate will be placed on 10-member teams under team leaders. Each volunteer will be assigned five seniors, whom he or she will call at least once every two to three days until the church is able to restart on-campus activities. Volunteers will report to their team leaders weekly, and the team leaders will report to their campus pastor weekly.

Starting at home and working outwards

Daystar will begin with its roster of senior adults who have attended the church but hopes to expand the program.

Hopper explained, “We’re also wanting to do something like that at the Cullman Housing Authority, if possible, as soon as they let us back in. Right now, they’ve asked everyone to kind of stay away until April 6. We’re really doing what we can do, starting within our churches and moving out as much as possible.”

The church is also considering ideas such as sending greeting cards to seniors quarantined in nursing homes and setting up Skype stations for families to visit with their seniors in facilities by video.

Said Hopper, “We’re mulling over a lot of different ideas.”

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