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Looking for the Helpers: Holiday calls to seniors

A holiday program helps connects seniors during a lonely holiday season due to COVID-19.
Holiday Senior Phone Call Bridge Program
Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness

As our area is faced with ongoing changes due to a growing pandemic, we are bringing stories of people doing good in the community during a time of uncertainty.

Help us look for the helpers!

Holiday Calls to Seniors

Local seniors are isolated more than ever.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors everywhere are dealing with strict lockdowns due to their vulnerability to the virus. Many are not able to visit or be visited by their loved ones.

The County of Santa Barbara is changing that.

The County's Behavioral Wellness Community Team developed a phone calling program to keep seniors connected through the holidays.

The program is called the Senior Holiday Phone Bridge Program.

Volunteers are paired up with seniors in the community to have conversations over the phone.

The goal of the program is to ease the social isolation many seniors are feeling.

Health officials say a simple phone conversation has a big impact for the senior on the other end of the line.

"It could be a nice warm conversation, it could be info and updates on COVID, tips and skills on coping, ideas for activities during the holiday season, really any of the above." said Suzanne Grimmesey from Behavioral Wellness, County of Santa Barbara.

If the program goes will, it could extend past the holidays.

The program is still looking for more volunteers.

If anyone is interested in volunteering to help local seniors during the holidays or know a senior who would benefit from a phone call, call 805-364-2750.

Seniors can sign up for a one time call or regular calls.


Know of any other helpers making a difference during these trying times? Send Alys an email and let her know!

Coronavirus / Health / Lifestyle / Safe at Home / Santa Barbara - South County
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Alys Martinez

Alys Martinez is a reporter and anchor at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Alys, click here.

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Julia Nguyen

Julia Nguyen is an assignment editor and social media coordinator for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Julia, click here.

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