The Mobile County Probate Court hosted an appreciation luncheon on Nov. 3 to recognize those who serve as advocates or legal guardians for seniors in need through Mobile County’s Volunteer Guardian Program.
Currently, 55 volunteers serve about 151 Mobile County senior citizens each month through the Volunteer Guardians Program, which is often the last line of defense for vulnerable citizens against homelessness and worsening quality of life.
If a senior citizen becomes a ward of Mobile County Probate Court, Judge Don Davis appoints a volunteer guardian to protect that person’s health and safety. These volunteers are trained to advocate for incapacitated and/or indigent adults in long-term care facilities and group homes.
Mobile County’s Volunteer Guardians Program is the first program of its kind in Alabama. It was founded in 2010 by Judge of Probate Don Davis and is an important service, especially as the senior population continues to grow.
Marilyn Taylor, a Volunteer Guardian with multiple wards explained: “The people who become wards of the court have no one, no one to help them. Being a Volunteer Guardian is the most meaningful volunteer work I’ve ever done.”
Mobile County’s Volunteer Guardians Program needs more compassionate, caring, and committed volunteers. At present, 48 more Mobile County adults need volunteer guardians. Those interested in learning more about the program or volunteering should contact Volunteer Guardian Coordinator Lynn Hudson at email@example.com or 251-478-3311.
The volunteer commitment is about 4 to 6 hours per month. Requirements are that volunteers be at least 21 years old, have computer access, transportation, and the ability to learn basic legal and medical information. Each volunteer guardian must complete a background check and participate in training.
Volunteer guardians in attendance were thanked for their service by Judge of Probate Don Davis, District 3 Commissioner Randall Dueitt, and Mayor Sandy Stimpson, who each expressed the importance of their service to our community and heartfelt appreciation to the Volunteer Guardians for their work. Archbishop Thomas Rodi served as the keynote speaker and offered an inspirational message about the importance of volunteering.
Mobile County’s Volunteer Guardians program is a collaborative effort of Probate Court, Via! Community Center, Mobile County Commission, City of Mobile, and others.
For more information on Mobile County’s Volunteer Guardians Program, go to: viamobile.org/volunteer-guardian-program or probate.mobilecountyal.gov/about-us/special-programs.