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Volunteers needed for Volunteer Guardian Program

Published: July 22, 2016 2:30 PM

The Volunteer Guardian Program completed its second year and is positively changing lives in Summit County. Under the direction of Judge Stormer, the Probate Court, in collaboration with the County Executive's Office, the Department of Public Health, the ADM Board and the Summit DD Board, this program provides trained legal guardians to serve as advocates and surrogate decision-makers for those under the guardianship of Probate Court. Due to the aging population, the demand for court appointed guardians increases every year.

Jewish Family Service Executive Director Gizelle Jones stated, "We are excited that this innovative program is making a positive difference to those in need and to the volunteers that have stepped up."

Since the first training last July, the program now has almost 80 active volunteers handling one or two cases each. "We limit the amount of cases to only one or two per person," said J.J. Mesko-Kimmich, director of volunteers. "We want our volunteers to be able to concentrate on their families and continue to enjoy their role as a volunteer guardian. The program and volunteers are making a big impact." Initial and ongoing training, background check and networking is provided by the Volunteer Guardian Program. The goal is to support the volunteer through the process.

"We have an amazing group of volunteers, but we still need more to join our team," stated Mesko-Kimmich. "We are always looking for those that have a desire to make a difference in a person's life."

To learn more about the Volunteer Guardian Program, contact the JFS Volunteer Guardian Program Director of Volunteers, J.J. Mesko-Kimmich, at 330-867-3388 or volunteerguardian@jfsakron.org.

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