Partnering for a Better Community

By Lauren Lindstrom, Communications Intern, American Red Cross

United Way funded agencies are teaming up to allow some Green Bay area
seniors to stay involved in the community.

The Hmong Senior Tsev Povfwm Program is using Red Cross
Transportation Services to get elderly participants to and from the
weekly program. The program, which meets Thursday evenings needs help
getting seniors necessary transportation. Many of the participants
cannot drive and depend on the Red Cross for mobility.

The Tsev Povfwm Program, which means “House of Good Health and Longevity,” began in June 2011. Program Coordinator May Kaying Lor knew she needed a service to provide home bound seniors a way to get
out of the house and interact with others in the community. She worked
with the NEW Curative Rehabilitation Inc. to get the program running
and through them, found partnership with the Red Cross. NEW Curative
Sponsors the Tsev Povfwm program and already uses the Red Cross for
its transportation needs.

“We are very happy with the service,” Lor said. “If we didn’t have the
transportation, I don’t know if we could run this program.”

On program day, Red Cross buses are full, sometimes having to make
more than one trip to accommodate all of the seniors needing transportation. Lor’s husband is one of two volunteers to be certified to drive each Thursday.

Participants stressed the importance of having Red Cross transportation and their appreciation for the services.

“I don’t know how to drive, so this is the only way I can get out into the community.” said Chongong Yang.

The program not only gives participants the chance to socialize, but
also keeps them connected with their culture and heritage. Every week,
the program shows Hmong movies, offers card games and volunteers serve
a traditional meal.

“If we don’t have the transportation, I am just going to be sitting at
home and get depressed,” said Bee Lee. “The bus brings me here so I
can socialize with everybody.”

Program participants keep in touch with Hmong culture with movies, food and native decorations.

In addition to activities in the program center, the Red Cross
provides transportation for field trips including picnics and trips to various scenic Wisconsin locations. Participants are eager to keep the partnership between the two organizations going strong.

“I even wish we had more money so we could come here five days a week
instead of one,” said Mee Lee.

Participants can draw, play cards and watch movies from their native Laos.

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