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'A Little Help' Connects Neighbors To Help Denver Seniors Thrive

DENVER (CBS4) – As Coloradans age, many of them want to stay in their homes. But living alone can be lonely and isolating, not to mention all the work it takes to maintain a house. A Little Help was founded 11 years ago to connect neighbors in order to help seniors thrive.

"The older adult will call in and say, 'I need a ride to King Soopers next Thursday.' And we'll put that out to the volunteers who live in their neighborhood, and without fail, we'll get a ride to the doctor, or the dentist, or the beauty parlor, or the grocery story," said Paul Leon Ramsey, the Executive Director of A Little Help.

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The organization was started by some octogenarians in the Washington Park neighborhood. Since then it's grown Larimer County, Fort Collins, Berthoud, the Roaring Fork Valley, and other areas across the state.

"I believe we're the most efficient way to combat isolation because everyone wants to be loved, and everyone wants to be connected," Ramsey explained.

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Betty Hagen is 97-years-old. She's lived in her Wash Park home for 72 years.

"They said it was the last subdivision that the streetcar came to," Hagen told CBS4.

When Hagen moved in to her home in August of 1947, Wash Park was on the outskirts of town. She's raised five girls in her home, and worked as an accountant, a real estate agent, and a stock broker. She just retired four years ago.

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"It's just been a family home for all our lives, and it just means so much to us," Hagen explained.

Now she relies on the help of her neighbors to stay in her home.

"It's unbelievable what they do. I just can't say enough good things about this group," Hagen said.

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A Little Help does yard work during the summer, volunteers rake the leaves in the fall, and shovel the snow in the winter. The kind of chores that Hagen can't do herself, and having the contact with the volunteers keeps her connected to her community.

A Little Help is hosting a volunteer project during Xcel Energy's Day of Service. Volunteers will be doing landscaping work at various homes.

"When someone buys into your mission, they become a part of your organization. It helps our funding stream, it helps our ability to be known in the community, so we're trusted by other older adults," Ramsey said.

LINKS: Xcel Energy's Day of Service | A Little Help

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