By Haley Watson, Correspondent
Every Tuesday, the Belton Rotary Club gathers for their lunch meeting at 12 p.m. at The Gin with a guest speaker. On June 6, Anita Wyatt, Volunteer Coordinator for Citizens Helping in Police Service (CHIPS) spoke about the Belton Police Department “RU OK?” program.
“RU OK?” Is a primarily volunteer conducted organization that has partnered with the Belton Police Department under the CHIPS program. Each day, volunteers gather at a call center in HEB and make regular phone calls to senior citizen participants in the program to check on their well-being. If a participant does not answer his or her phone when the volunteers call them, a police officer is dispatched to their house to check on them.
“RU OK?” is available for anyone over the age of 60 who lives alone and has no one to care for them. CHIPS currently has 133 participants in the “RU OK?” program and makes an average of 1900 calls per month to check in on these senior citizens. Up to date there have been five people saved from potentially life threatening situations with the help of the “RU OK?” program since it was started in April 2013.
Along with “RU OK?” CHIPS has developed several other helpful programs such as Lifeline, E-Watch, trashcan assistance, library assistance and more.
“About Lifeline, I really like this item, we provide the participants with the container and magnet they need to let the firefighters and EMS know the information is in the refrigerator.” explained Wyatt.
Lifeline is a program available to anyone, but recommended for senior citizens. This program allows the individual to store medical records in a container in their refrigerator and a magnet on the outside to communicate to the EMS responder that their medical information is inside incase of unconsciousness or inability to share important medical history needed for treatment.
Also sponsored by CHIPS and the Belton Police Department is the Silver Santa Program. Silver Santa provides Christmas presents containing donations from HEB shoppers to the participants of the “RU OK?” program each year.
Members of CHIPS are all Certified Public Accountants (CPA). Within the CPA, the Belton Rotary Club has the most members involved of any other group. The Rotary Club thanked Wyatt for her presentation and look forward to what CHIPS will do next to help the senior citizens of Belton.
“We are working together to bridge the gap with our seniors.” concluded CHIPS member and Rotary Club member Jen Wesley.