Forget yourself for others and others will never forget you.

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Forget yourself for others and others will never forget you. -Author unknown. The words “Thank you” don't begin ... Numbers to Know! “I feel so bad that I can't do ...

Guardian Support Services, Inc. 408 9th Street, SW Canton, OH 44707 (330) 437-3720

news Guardian Support Services, Inc. Board of Directors

Ellen P. Linz....................................................... Chair Daniel R. Griffith.........................................Treasurer Connie Calhoun........................................... Secretary Dr. Dana Gammill.......................................... Member Brian C. Layman...........................................Member Judge W. Don Reader.................................... Member

Volume 2 · Issue 2 · Spring 2011

VOLUNTEERS: THE HEARTBEAT OF GSS The words “Thank you” don’t begin to fully describe the appreciation we have for our wonderful team of dedicated GSS volunteers. Quite simply, our volunteers are the heartbeat of this program!

Sandra Watkins Cleaver...................... Senior Advisor Diana Espenschied........................Executive Director



Check out our new digs! You are cordially invited to join us for the GSS Open House at our new office located inside the Goodwill Campus at 408 9th St. S.W. Canton. We are renting two rooms on the second floor. The date is Wednesday, May 25, from Noon -2:00 PM. This is an informal event where you can stop in for a quick tour and light refreshments. We want you to see where we coordinate the services to our wards and if you have not all ready done so, meet Amy Francis, our new part time administrative assistant. Enter on the 9th street side under the “blue” roof. You will be asked to sign in at the reception desk. Take the elevator to the second floor. We will have signs directing you to our offices.

Gracie Wall Hanging GSS received a gift of a quilted wall hanging depicting our mascot “Gracie”. Ann Barnes, a long time friend of Diana was the creator. Ann developed a pattern of Gracie from a GSS business card. She designed the cover, selected the materials and quilted it herself. A beautiful 33 inch by 25 inch quilted wall hanging hangs in the executive director’s office. Thank you to Ann for the time and effort that went into making the beautiful “Gracie” wall hanging.

On Saturday, April 9, The Inn at Belden Village hosted our Second Annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast. It was another opportunity to say “Thank you” to this outstanding team of caring people.

Forget yourself for others and others will never forget you.

The inspirational speaker for the event was Suzie Thomas, director of university relations at Malone University. Suzie told light-hearted personal stories that related to the importance of touching people’s lives and making a positive impact. Ellen Linz, GSS board president, thanked the guardians for their dedicated service and Sandra Watkins Cleaver, GSS founder and current senior advisor shared a poem written in the perspective of an elderly person. GSS Guardians are appointed by the Stark County Probate Court to serve as guardians to nursing home residents deemed incompetent and have no family or friends who are willing or able to serve as a court appointed guardian. GSS is currently seeking additional volunteers so that we may serve the individuals who are on a waiting list for guardians.

-Author unknown

Suzie Thomas

The volunteer guardians who attended were: Debra Amstutz, Miriam Baughman, Alison Blondheim, Beverly Bradshaw, Gary Brahler, Jeanne Brahler, Martha Busto, Francine Dawson, Dorcas Eberly, Janine Elkins, Alicia Farkas, Nancy Farrington, Paul Feaser, Susan Feaser, Lori Ganuelas, Mona Gray, Dorothy Greenstreet, Brenda McIntee, David Milam, Madalen Muntean, Maureen Nye, Charles Osborne Jr., Diane Rodak, Jerry Rodak, Karen Rudolph, Dorothy Singleton, Susan Strutner, Janice Woitas, Brenda Zahn, Dave Zona.

From the desk of...

Our Director

“I feel so bad that I can’t do more for her. I bought her a card and a rose. It was her birthday.” “He gets agitated sometimes. I sit beside him and tell him how the Tribe is doing. He seems to enjoy that.” I hear about these “little” acts of kindness from the GSS guardians frequently. Sometimes they say it as if they are embarrassed that so little could mean so much to another human being. The truth is that living a meaningful life consists of small acts of kindness done on behalf of and for other people. It is acts of kindness that make a difference to all of us. They brighten our day, makes us smile, give us a feeling of worth or comfort us. For elderly, incompetent adults who reside in care facilities and are at the end of their life, they too still enjoy the “small” things (maybe even more so). Become a GSS guardian and do the small things that make a BIG difference. “A life is not important except in the impact it has on others.” -Jackie Robinson (1919-72) American baseball player

The Need Grows...

Numbers to Know!

GSS has 60 active guardians. We have 113 active cases with five pending. Since January 2011, ten wards have passed away or the number would be even higher. We are very pleased with the growth of GSS but we believe that more volunteer guardians will be needed as our case load increases. We receive two - four new cases monthly. If you would be interested in serving as a volunteer guardian, please give us a call at 330 437-3720.

SPECIAL THANKS: A special thank you goes to The Inn at Belden Village for hosting the Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast !

Info on Aging...

A Profile of Older Americans

Facts from the Administration on Aging: A Profile of Older Americans: 2010

Persons reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 18.6 years (19.9 years for females and 17.2 years for males). The older population (65+) numbered 39.6 million in 2009, an increase of 4.3 million or 12.5% since 1999. The number of Americans aged 45-64 – who will reach 65 over the next two decades – increased by 26% during this decade. Older women outnumber older men at 22.7 million older women to 16.8 million older men. The 85+ population is projected to increase from 4.2 million in 2000 to 5.7 million in 2010 (a 36% increase) and then to 6.6 million in 2020 (a 15% increase for that decade). Older men were much more likely to be married than older women –72% of men vs. 42% of women. Over one in every eight, or 12.9% of the population is an older American. Half of older women (49%) age 75+ live alone.

Sharing Our Story...

Media and PR

GSS has pursued a variety of media forms to increase public awareness of our services. We have participated in vendor fairs and have spoken at organizational events. Several area churches have included a small article about GSS in their weekly bulletin. A few churches have allowed us to attend a Sunday morning service and make a five minute presentation. Cable television in Canton and North Canton run ads for GSS on their community bulletin boards. Care facilities have included an article about GSS in their monthly/quarterly newsletters. As money allows, we have produced television and radio ads. Some may remember we rented a bill board for a month featuring the “GSS guardian of year 2009”. If finances allow, we buy space in local news papers. All of this is done in order to share the importance of the GSS mission. Currently, we are awaiting word on a grant application for a new GSS video that will feature volunteer guardians sharing their experiences with the goal of recruiting additional volunteers. GSS is open to suggestions for speaking engagements, vendor fairs and other events or venues that would like to have a GSS representative make a presentation. Contacts for churches are welcome. Call 330 437-3720 if you have any suggestions or ideas. Please help us share our story!