Volunteer Week begins with focus on seniors

By Matt Porter

April 23, 2013 Updated Apr 24, 2013 at 12:54 AM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Volunteer organizations target seniors and senior aid during the first day of National Volunteer Week.

The United Way of the Southern Tier organized the volunteer fair at the Oakdale Mall.

More than a dozen organizations were on hand. The focus Tuesday was on recruiting senior volunteers.

Programs that catered toward seniors like Meals on Wheels and other elderly assistance groups were also there.

Joni Kaiser of the United Way said the need for volunteers has never been greater.

"The need for volunteers has gone through the roof, largely because of the economy and the layoff of employees in the non-profit sector," Kaiser said. "So volunteers are especially crucial, sometimes even to keep the doors open."

Cyndi Griffin, of Binghamton, said she was thinking about signing up for a volunteer role.

"We can't pay enough people to do all the things that need to be done," Griffin said. "And it helps other people and it helps the volunteers, too."

In the past six months, volunteers in the Southern Tier worked more than 15,000 hours.

Organizers said they hope more people will sign up and help in the next six months.