The Uhrich Family spent a weekend this summer helping Faith in Action launch the File of Life Project supporting volunteers and the people who call for neighborly help. Many hands made for a fun project and everyone was able to help out.

This past summer the Uhrich Family met at their cabin in Cass County and helped Faith in Action with a Thrivent service event to launch the File of Life Project.

The File of Life Project supports the safety of volunteers and the people who use volunteer services by having information for EMTs in case of emergencies.

“People are living longer and staying longer in their homes, and they are also experiencing more complicated medical issues,” said Faith in Action Director Theresa Eclov. “Knowing that information is readily available if someone needs to call 911 means that people can be treated more quickly and appropriately when help arrives.”

Over the past few years, Faith in Action volunteers have reported several incidents of concern. One volunteer noticed that a rider had become unconscious and wouldn’t wake up, so he pulled over and called 911. When they arrived, the EMTs asked the volunteer if the man was a diabetic so they could begin treating him, but the volunteer didn’t know. Volunteers don’t ask people about their private medical issues. The EMTs guessed that the man was diabetic and were able to revive him and he was OK.

Working with Cass County TRIAD, which is seniors and law enforcement working together, Faith in Action obtained File of Life packets for volunteers and people who use the volunteer services. The File of Life document lists a person’s medical issues, prescriptions and emergency contacts so that EMTs can be informed immediately in case of an emergency. One larger card fits into a magnetic pouch to hang on a refrigerator and a smaller card goes in a plastic sleeve for a purse or wallet. Stickers are included that can go on a front door or a car window so EMTs know to look for a File of Life when they arrive to help. EMTs throughout Minnesota are now using the File of Life cards.

The Uhrich family gathered for fun at the lake over the July 4 weekend and to do a project that served people in need. About 25 family members, age 2 to 75, spent an afternoon folding, assembling, labeling and stamping 650 large envelopes with letters to Faith in Action volunteers and people served, information about the File of Life Project, and the File of Life packets. After putting all the envelopes together, the Uhrich Family used a Thrivent Action Team and money contributed by family members to pay for the postage.

“It was a fun project and everyone was able to participate,” stated Marie Uhrich. “It has become a tradition to do service projects when the family gets together, and we know we can make a difference by helping others.”

The Faith in Action staff and volunteers were very grateful for time and effort given to get the File of Life Project out in the community.

A locally supported nonprofit organization, Faith in Action for Cass County coordinates volunteers who provide nonmedical, neighborly assistance to seniors, the disabled, and people in need throughout Cass County. Faith in Action volunteers help with transportation, friendly visiting, respite for caregivers, light homemaking and chores, and basic home repair, and they build accessibility ramps.

“Your friendly volunteers are life savers,” stated a woman in the Hackensack area.

Volunteers receive much more than scheduling coordination and recognition. It’s all about making new friends and the smiles and joy of helping others.

For more information about Faith in Action volunteer services or volunteer opportunities, call (218) 675-5435 or email cassfia@uslink.net. Faith in Action is “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.”

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