Singing during the holidays can lift spirits, but when the community comes together Sunday for the Ultimate Christmas Concert, it will help people stay in their homes.The concert raises money for Interlink, a nonprofit group that provides a variety of free services to enable people to live independently as long as possible.
Some of the services Interlink volunteers provide include week day transportation for errands and appointments, minor home repairs, yard work and building wheelchair ramps for homes. Clients include the elderly and people who become disabled. In 2017, the group had 369 active clients and 61 regular volunteers, not including groups, said Deb Snyder, Interlink’s executive director.
“I get calls from other counties asking, ‘would you consider coming here?’ We have a very special gift in our two counties and in our valley and it’s something we’re very proud of and we hope to see it grow and continue to give back.”
Requests for Interlink’s services are growing as word spreads about what they do, Snyder said. “We live in a retirement community, and this is a common need as people age.”
As requests grow, the group is seeking more volunteers and offers flexible opportunities, she said. There’s been a 20 percent increase in transportation requests this year. People can drive or offer their time as little as once a month. Drivers are paid for their mileage. The group is also seeking more people who can do minor home repairs like installing handrails. Volunteers use their own tools.
Interlink volunteers also build wooden wheelchair ramps (they built 18 in 2016), but sometimes a ramp is only needed temporarily. Interlink has an aluminum ramp that can be reused. One thing the agency needs is a place to store it, and they are searching for a partner to help with that.
Interlink doesn’t charge for any of its services. Proceeds from the concert help them pay volunteers for mileage and buy materials for building ramps. Last year’s concert drew 600 people and raised $5,000, Snyder said.
People can request services or find out more about volunteering online at http://interlinkvolunteers.org.
IF YOU GO
What: Ultimate Christmas Concert for Interlink
When: 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 17
Where: Clarkston High School auditorium, 401 Chestnut St., Clarkston
Of Note: Features performances by Chad Bramlet, Amy Baker-Stout, Nancy McIntosh, Becci Tank, Kelly Riddle, Shania, Clearwater Pipes and Drums, Jeanene Sander, Frances Hasenoehrl, Patricia Brinegar, the Dave Marran Family Singers, Isaiah Trembley, Elle Uhling and Santa Claus.