About

Volunteers in Service to the Elderly

Volunteers in Service to the Elderly (VISTE) is a community-based, non-profit organization serving Lakeland, Bartow, Mulberry and Ft. Meade. Established in 1983, the primary goal of VISTE is to enable frail elderly persons to continue living independently and safely in their own home.

Volunteer Driven

VISTE is a volunteer-driven organization that is successful because of the schools, churches, civic groups, local corporations, and individuals that help us. Though a small VISTE staff oversees program services offered to our clients, our dedicated volunteers perform the majority of the work.

Assisting the Elderly

The frail elderly are the fastest growing age group in the U.S.A. People are living longer and are often financially unprepared to do so. VISTE provides the elderly with resources that help our greatest generation remain safe and independent in their own homes. Transportation, monthly commodity boxes, hot meals, and wheelchair ramps are just a few of the programs carried out by VISTE volunteers that help preserve our client’s dignity.

Locally Funded

VISTE receives funds from the United Way of Central Florida, the City of Lakeland, the City of Bartow, GiveWell, and through individuals, businesses, and various foundations.

Est. 1983

The History of VISTE

VISTE was founded in 1983 by a dozen or so volunteers who saw a need in our local community. VISTE’s original program – transportation – is still our largest, providing an average of 1,200+ door-to-door transportation trips every month. While most trips are medical in nature, rides are also provided to the grocery store, pharmacy, beauty salon, and other destinations.

In the beginning, VISTE volunteers provided transportation to 30-40 clients. Now, 37 years later, VISTE has more than 4,300 clients that range in age from 70 to 106 years old. Since 2016, the growth in elderly population has significantly increased as Baby Boomers began turning 70, and that growth will continue for another 14 years. As an increasing number of our elderly family members, friends, and neighbors come to rely on our services, VISTE continues to count on the generosity and support of our local community to address this ever-expanding need for generations to come.

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