The Benefits of volunteering can be enormous. If you are looking for a cause to get involved in, Elder Care Community Council of Franklin County, ECCC, needs you. All it takes is one hour a week, over the lunch hour to join us to deliver meals to homebound older adults. ECCC’s mission is to bridge the gaps in services for those over age 55 in Franklin County. 2021 starts off with continuing to prepare meals and assure that no senior is going hungry. Please join in and help us by volunteering and giving to others. Many studies have proven that volunteering reduces stress, keeps you mentally stimulated and provides a sense of purpose. Volunteering for ECCC connects you to other people and it is is a great way to give back. Making a difference in someone’s life while they are home bound can make a huge positive impact to that person and to you. Help ECCC build community and build bonds by calling 850-370-0116 to find out more about how you can help. Donna Duncan, Vice President of ECCC, was presented with a check for just over $1,500 at the 4th Annual Butts & Clucks Cook-Off on the Bay on January 23. Ms. Duncan says, “ECCC gives special thanks to John Solomon, Apalachicola Chamber of Commerce, Team Uncle Bucks BBQ, Backyard Bro’s Buck Freeman and Tim Maloy and everyone that purchased a blue bucket to help ECCC. Thank you for your support!”Keep reading this column for information from REACH – Resources & Education for Aging, Community and Health which aims to educate people about aging-related healthcare and social topics. More information can be found at reach.med.fsu.edu, the Department of Geriatrics at the Florida State University College of Medicine.According to the US Census Bureau, there are 4.4 million adults over age 60 living in Florida. This represents 23% of Florida’s population. By 2030, the US Census predicts that 32.5% of Florida’s population will be 60+. What better time than now to strengthen the services available to elders in our county? In Franklin County, 24.1% of the population is over age 65. ECCC’s mission is to bridge the gaps in services to those over age 55. Our January project, in addition to serving lunch “to-go”, Monday through Friday to those in need, has been to collect donations to fill laundry baskets with household goods. The baskets are filled with items that food stamps won’t purchase such as TP, paper towels, tissues, toilet bowl cleaner and brush, dishwashing soap, dish cloth & towel, toothbrush &toothpaste, lotion, potholder, soap, all purpose cleaner, etc. Recent donors and volunteers include: Weems Memorial Hospital, Dr. Whiteman, New Life Church, Charles Elliott, Glenna Smith, Janine Gedman & Kathy Kirkland, Sharon Sleeper, Tami & Allen Schwenk, Heather Mapp and members of the Forgotten Coast Parrot Head Club. We thank the many organizations, donors and volunteers that have contributed to this basket of joy that will bring smiles to the recipients. Past President of ECCC, Bonnie Kellogg says, “We are so appreciative of the support we receive from our community as donations to provide food and goods for the older members of Franklin County. The New Year’s baskets are a great way to share generosity and provide a fresh, clean start to 2021”. It’s not too late to make a donation to help with the baskets and ECCC by contributing by credit card on our donate button at www.ecccfranklin.org or mailing us a check at ECCC, PO Box 335, Eastpoint, FL, 32328. Thank you for your support.ECCC is a non-profit, 501c(3) organization serving those over age 55 in Franklin County. If you or someone you know is in need, please call us at 850-370-0116 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.