Tell-A-Peer program brings Clairton’s elderly residents together

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Ford owns two buses—one of which he named after his mother Signora Ford—that he uses to transport seniors free of charge to appointments.

The Tell-A-Peer Foundation wants to become a base support organization for the Mon Valley’s elderly population by providing them with an avenue of communication, transportation and resources to help them live their golden years to the fullest.

According to the U.S. Census, Clairton’s population in 2012 was 6,767 residents. Although the median age of residents in the city is 42 years of age, 24 percent of the city’s residents are  65 years of age or older.

ADOLPH DAVIS

ADOLPH DAVIS

Currently run from Ford’s Caldwell Street home, the Tell-A-Peer Foundation offers continuous support for senior citizens through a companionship call line where seniors call other seniors and check up on them and find out what they need.

“It’s very enjoyable working with Glenn,” said Lucretia Brooks. “It’s a beautiful thing to help seniors. I like to help anyone that I can and this program is a great asset to the community.”

In addition, the organization also provides trips to grocery stores, doctors’ appointments, food banks, nursing homes and special senior activities.

“This is a good service because a lot of seniors are confined and they need someone to talk to,” explained Lucinda Mayo, one of four women who assist Ford on the companion call line three times a week. “Transportation is so bad in Clairton and we take the seniors anywhere they want to go.”

Mayo’s calling companion Marian Hammons agreed.

“It’s beneficial because older folks can’t get out and you can conversate with them. We love Glenn because he has good ideas,” Hammons said.

Due to financial problems, Ford had to shut down Tell-A-Peer a few years ago.

“Everything I did I was paying for it out of my own pocket and it got to be too much,” Ford said. “But now we are back. We are crawling right now because I still don’t have any funding from any organization. We’re starting off slow.”

To reintroduce the Clairton community to the Tell-A-Peer Foundation, Ford held an informational seniors awareness day on Nov. 9.

The event consisted of speakers from UPMC McKeesport and Clairton’s Morning Star Baptist Church, goodie bags for attendees filled with vital information geared toward seniors and a full meal. Between 60 to 100 Clairton city seniors converged on Carver Hall’s recreation room to learn about Tell-A-Peer.

“There are a lot of things seniors don’t know unless someone tells them,” said Stoney Williams, who helped with the call line when the organization was up and running several years ago. “Information is the key and Glenn’s van is a blessing. We need someone who cares about the community.”

Adolph Davis, 85, is glad to know the Tell-A-Peer Foundation is available whenever he may need it.

“It will be available to help me in any way I might need it,” Davis said.

Ford’s brother and Clairton councilman Richard Ford is very proud that his younger brother has taken such a vested interest in the city’s seniors.

“Glenn is a very compassionate young man. People have told me that this program is a blessing because they get the chance to reminisce and talk to other seniors. I hope he is successful in finding the funding to keep the program going. People enjoyed it three years ago,” the elder Ford said.

Seniors are provided no-cost grocery store trips to Walmart, Giant Eagle, SHOP ‘n SAVE and Aldi’s grocery stores three times a month on the first, third and seventeenth days of the month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Reservations are required by calling 412- 945-3581; 412-945-3582; 412-945-3583; 412-945-3584. No cost trips to food banks in Clairton, Duquesne, McKeesport and Braddock and to area nursing homes including Southwestern, Kane Regional Center once a week by reservation only.

Ford said he has been in touch with numerous senior organizations including AARP to try to secure funding for Tell-A-Peer.

“They all said I would have to move the foundation out of my home in order to get funding so the best we can hope for is donations right now. Any donations are accepted and appreciated,” he said.

(Anyone wishing to donate to the Tell-A-Pair Foundation should contact Glenn L. Ford at any of the numbers listed above or via email at gford4235@gmail.com.)

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