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County looks for senior advocates

volunteering -- Advisory council seeks people interested in the services the county delivers to seniors

Washington County Disability, Aging and Veteran Services (DAVS) is looking for a special volunteer who wants to help develop services that the county delivers to seniors.

The volunteer position is with the Aging and Veteran Services Advisory Council which recommends basic policy guidelines and activities that affect the delivery of services to seniors and veterans. The council also reviews the annual budget, helps develop the new five-year strategic plan, and advocates on behalf of the needs of the elderly and veterans in Washington County.

'It's important to us that we have members on our advisory council who are committed to serving seniors and who can bring us perspectives from the community,' said Rod Branyan, agency director.

They are looking for someone with previous experience with agencies that rely on volunteers. Members serve for two-year terms and are appointed by the County Board of Commissioners.

'I've enjoyed being on the advisory council,' says Jean Faszholz, a retired educator who has served for a year-and-a-half. 'I've gotten to learn so much, make new friends and develop new skills.' She added that working on requests for in-home services was an entirely new area for her.

'It's a great chance to give back when you've been given so much,' she said.

David Nardone, the council's chairman and a physician who continues his medical practice with the Veterans Administration, said, 'I've found my work on the council eye opening,' referring to the variety of issues that effect seniors in unique ways. 'This work is informative and educational,' he added. 'I've found it rewarding and enlightening to work together with this excellent group of citizens.'

'Our advisory council is recognized state-wide for its advocacy work,' says Chris Larson, DAVS senior program coordinator and staff representative to the council.

'With a new legislature coming to work, it's vitally important that legislators hear accurate, balanced information about the needs of seniors and veterans in Washington County.'

As advocates, council members will meet and communicate with legislators and participate in hearings about legislation that is relevant to seniors or veterans.

People who are interested in volunteering for this position should contact Janet Long at 503-615-4651. DAVS may be reached at 503-640-3489 or by e-mail through its Web site: www.co.washington.or.us/aging.