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Volunteer Group Seeks to Aid Seniors in Briarcliff, Ossining

The organization will officially launch on May 8.

Volunteers in the Briarcliff Manor-Ossining area are coming together to help elderly residents stay in their homes.

Community Helping Hands (CHH) will officially launch on Tuesday, May 8 at the in Ossining, where Barbara Weinbaum, president of Dehaven-on-the-Hudson, will be the keynote speaker.

"Aging-in-place organizations empower residents to stay in their own homes as they grow older by providing essential services and advocacy," according to a statement from CHH.

Among the services CHH will begin offering are transportation to doctors' visits and stores, friendly visits, errands—along with information and referrals for locals ages 65 and up.

CHH has been conducting research and planning for its launch, and based on a survey, "elders living in Ossining and Briarcliff showed a significant interest in cultural and social events..."

Therefore, music and entertainment will later become part of the organization's offerings.

"We are neighbors who have banded together as volunteers and we are dedicated to helping older residents stay active and independent in the neighborhoods they love rather than having to relocate to a retirement community, assisted living facility or nursing home," said Laurie Sterlacci, secretary of CHH's board and an Ossining resident.

Sara Vescio, treasurer of CHH and a Briarcliff Manor resident, spoke at the village's board of trustees meeting on Wednesday about the organization and launch.

"Our tagline is making aging in place easier, safer and friendlier for seniors," she said.

The organization has also partnered with Project Relief volunteers from the , who helped a resident with "some minor home repairs.

"The problem is that most people won't admit they need these services," Vescio told the board.

Therefore, CHH is looking to spread the word to residents who may need some sort of assistance, as well as find volunteers.

"We need additional people of all ages, from older adults to high school students, who have the time, the inspiration and the heart to make this a better community for everyone," Vescio said.

Membership dues for CHH are $60 per year for an individual and $75 per year for a two-person household.

To reserve your spot for the launch (5:30 to 8 p.m. on May 3), call 914-346-7773. Food, refreshments and prizes will be provided.

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