'Marlin Buddies' ensure safety of town's elderly

Posted at 9:40 PM, Jan 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-12 10:20:23-05

Lots of us have neighbors, family or friends who check on us now and then.

Many others do not.

So, when folks in Marlin noticed a disturbing trend, volunteers took action.

They include the Reverend John Armstrong, who spends more time on the phone than he used to.

He works with volunteers who make up "Buddy Welfare Community Check" of Marlin.

Every day, Armstrong and the others, phone the elderly to check in on them.

He says, before this, he'd found too many elderly in bad shape.

"I felt kind of grieved, by the fact that you could have elderly in the community that no one has concern for," he said.

Now, his calls help make sure people like Marion Byrd Gamble and Helen Coble stay safe.

"I'm still where I can move around and everything and so forth," explained Gamble.

But he knows many others who can't.

Organizers say, facts like that, prompted the organization of "buddy check"

"Recently we have had more than we would like of our elderly in distress or deceased upon arrival," said Marlin Buddy organizer Drosto Montgomery.

If participants miss a call, they'll get a visit from a Marlin Police officer or volunteer.

"What we try to do is, make sure they have what they need to become their family," said Armstrong.

Montgomery says she'd like to eventually expand the program to also check on the homeless.

Because these volunteers say, that "Family feeling" makes places like Marlin, worth living in.

"It takes a village to raise a child. Well, it's gonna take the village of Marlin to take care of the elderly and to the needs of the community," Montgomery explained.

And with everybody pitching in, she says, they'll save lives.

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