Firefighters Union, Experience Inc. Raise Money For Seniors

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WARREN, Pa. – It was a beautiful day to give back.

The Warren Firefighters Union, Local No. 1835, in conjunction with Experience Inc., held its annual Boot Drive at Pennsylvania Ave. and Liberty St. in Warren.

The day was a huge success, with $6,684.45 being raised to help local seniors.

The money will got to Experience Inc., and will be used to provide meals to senior citizens in both Warren and Forest Counties.

“This is a very giving community,” said Warren City Fire Chief Rodney Wren. “Everyone has been very generous.”

The union like to keep the money local to help the community.

With COVID going on, we need money for seniors,” Union President Joe Rehe said. “This year it’s Experience Inc. We like to keep the money local.”

Experience Inc. Assessor Sandra Howard noted that seniors are less likely to cook for themselves.

Once you’re retired and isolated at home, you’re less apt to cook for yourself because you’re used to cooking for larger families,” Howard said. “With these meals, if you have a medical need and it’s difficult for you to stand in front of a stove and make a meal for hours, this will help supplement that restriction.”

Howard also noted that Experience Inc.’s ability to provide those meals is grant-based.

“The program normally runs on a grant, so when we get extra donations, that helps serve more members in our community than just what the grant allows us,” she said. 

Experience Inc. Care Manager Jessica Sleeman also pointed to the correlation between the ongoing pandemic and an increased need for meals.

“We saw an increase in the need for meals during COVID,” Sleeman said. “We have the in-home meal program and the congregate meal program at our senior centers.

“I think it’s been going very well. Every summer we have have a golf tournament and that always has a good turnout. We raise money through that and than we have this opportunity too.”

Erie Bank provided the financial services for the fundraiser.