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KD Sunday Spotlight: Packing away the stress of moving for senior citizens

KD Sunday Spotlight: Safe Moves for Seniors
KD Sunday Spotlight: Safe Moves for Seniors 04:47

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Moving can be expensive and stressful, especially for senior citizens. 

In the latest KD Sunday Spotlight, a nonprofit called "Safe Moves for Seniors" is filling a great need and making moves to help older adults one box at a time.

Moving is stressful. 

You'll probably run out of tape while packing, you have to hire reliable movers and you have to unpack every box.

Jill Yesko Diana is making the process a breeze for senior citizens who can't afford to move.

"The amount of tears and gratitude and hugs I get are worth every bit of work we do to get them ready for their move," said Jill Yesko Diana, the founder and president of Safe Moves for Seniors.

She got things moving last summer when she founded her 501c3 nonprofit, Safe Moves for Seniors, to pack away the stress and unpack happiness for older adults in Allegheny County.

"100% free, they are not asked to spend a penny, they are not asked to tip anyone, we handle all of that on our end. We take care of all the materials," said Yesko Diana.

To be eligible, a person has to be over the age of 60 and make less than $1,250 dollars per month.

Like moving heroes, Yesko Diana and her team show up to each home with packing supplies, lots of boxes, which are donated, and a trusted moving company.

Seniors sit back and relax, while they get rid of clutter, pack everything up and do the heavy lifting.

"She helped me pack my stuff and she got movers, and she got my old furniture that was no longer good, she got that disposed of. She was very nice," said a woman named Beth.

For Beth, Jill took the anxiety out of moving.

"We've partnered with the Junkluggers and Central Van Lines to provide the moving and the hauling services and they are both doing it at a much-discounted rate for us and we really appreciate that," said Yesko Diana.

She said her team would even help unpack when they could.

"We really like the chance to do that then we take away all of the debris and we hang their pictures and we set up their home to look like a home and it feels good to them," said Yesko Diana.

Every move is handled with care, which made all the difference for one woman named Renee.

"I'm going through cancer, second time around and you guys just have been a blessing, a real blessing. It's taken a lot off my shoulders, you're going to make me cry," Renee said. 

Safe Moves for Seniors is partnered with Discover Organizing. Yesko Diana is the owner of the professional organizing company.

Her skilled employees help people live a more productive, simple life.

"We have honed a lot of our skills especially those required to work with older adults that might be facing dementia, hoarding, or extreme collecting behaviors, there are usually rooms filled with clutter when we go out so having the organizing background is really helpful because we're able to quickly assess what types of services need to be in place," she said.

Seeing the relief on people's faces makes the hard work worthwhile.

"I would say that this is the most rewarding thing I've ever done and I believe that my team feels the same way," said Yesko Diana.

"It's a lot of emotional support, finding other people that can provide services and support to them in the interim," she added.

After a busy first year, Yesko Diana is looking for more volunteers and trying to hire paid staff.

"Our phones are ringing off the hook for people who need our services and of course, my fear is that we won't have enough people to help those people that are in need so for me growing is no choice, I must grow it and we need all the help we can get," she said.

Lending a hand can be as simple as donating small moving boxes or gently used overnight bags with wheels.

Yesko Diana is hoping businesses will sponsor a senior or maybe even donate a used vehicle. They use an old minivan to transport materials and donate unwanted items.

With every box they pack, Safe Moves for Seniors is making a difference and moving senior citizens to a better tomorrow.

"It was very pleasant, and Jill did everything for me just like a daughter," Beth said.

"Thank you very much, I'm very happy that you were able to help me," Renee said.

If you'd like to help Safe Moves for Seniors you can volunteer or donate money online

The nonprofit also accepts donations of small boxes, moving materials and luggage.

They're looking for corporate donations and anyone interested in sponsoring a senior for upcoming moving projects.

Senior citizens who need assistance can fill out an application.

To learn more about Safe Moves for Seniors, head to the nonprofit's website.

If you would like to see an organization highlighted in KDKA's Sunday Spotlight segment, send Jessica Guay an email at 

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