Local groups commended by M4A

CHELSEA – The Chelsea Community Center, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Chelsea-Westover Homemakers and Community Leaders were recognized for their leadership and support in the M4A Project Life Connect initiative on Thursday, April 12.

According to M4A Development and Marketing Director Robyn James, Project Life Connect aims to distribute red, vinyl pouches to elderly or disabled residents across Shelby, Chilton, St. Clair, Blount and Walker Counties. The pouches contain a person’s medical and emergency contact information and is hung on the refrigerator for first responders to easily locate.

James said the Chelsea-Westover Homemakers and Community Leaders assembled thousands of the pouches within a matter of hours.

James also said the Chelsea Community Center has distributed the most packets of any organization in the county. Programs Director Jane Ann Mueller recounted an incident in which one of the pouches helped resident Helga Limbaugh during an emergency.

“One of the first responders went to her kitchen and immediately began to look for the pouch,” Mueller said.

According to Mueller, the pouch gave the doctor who treated Limbaugh a better understanding of how to solve the problem.

“He looked at the card (inside the pouch) and immediately knew how to stabilize her,” Mueller said. “He said he wished everyone who was transferred there had something like this.”

Chelsea City Council member and deputy Cody Sumners accepted a certificate on behalf of Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego. James said the SCSO was the first law enforcement agency in the state to begin distribution and training on the packets.

Samaniego said the SCSO appreciates the working relationship with M4A and is dedicated to serving the county’s senior citizens.

“The partnership between M4A and the Sheriff’s Office has been truly remarkable,” Samaniego said. “From Project Life Connect to our Senior Leadership Academy, we are continually finding ways to engage the community and first responders on issues that are important to the senior citizens in our county.”

James said the pouches are for people of all ages and ability levels and are free to the public. Up to 50 pouches can be ordered and more information can be found online at M4a.org.