YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A new local program created to help low-income seniors call for help in emergencies could one day become a national campaign.
The Senior Support Action Group is offering free Echo Dot devices to those older residents in the area who meet income requirements.
Organizers say the idea was generated when a volunteer was not able to reach a client who had fallen several days earlier and had been hurt.
“Our AmeriCorps VISTA member actually contacted Amazon directly,” says Paige Fortner, program manager with Senior Action Support Group. “They contacted us back and said, ‘We’re going to donate. We love your story, we really want to help.'”
Fortner says the group received 500 Echo Dots.
“From there, we’ve just been installing them in homes, trying to get the word out there,” Fortner says.
The new devices will be installed free of charge and programmed with up to five emergency contact numbers that can be voice-activated. Users can also use the device to listen to music, check the weather and more.
The Senior Support Action Group has also partnered with Ohio Living and Family Tech Connect to make the program possible. It also offers other services to seniors living Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties, such as monthly food boxes, transportation to medical appointment and a “phone pals” program.
If you’re interested or know someone who could use one of these devices, contact the Senior Support Action Group at 330-424-7877 ext. 2.