Staying Put, which helps seniors to stay in their community, has launched its annual fundraising campaign.

In five years, the nonprofit organization has grown to serve 307 individuals with a staff of two professionals and a core of more than 100 volunteers who provide a range of services, including rides for members who can no longer drive, assistance with shopping and errands, visits to the homebound, computer aid and many special programs and activities, both social and cultural to keep seniors stimulated and engaged with the community.

Staying Put also provides a list of resources at negotiated prices for help with home maintenance and health care.

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"It's a great time to be a senior in New Canaan," said Tom Ferguson, president of Staying Put. "The past support of our donors has been a mainstay of our success, enabling Staying Put to meet our members' growing needs by expanding our office space and computerizing our rides management.

During the past year, the staff and volunteers have increased their hours of service to more than 9,000."

Annual membership dues are set low to be accessible to a majority of residents and there are also scholarships available.

However, dues only covers about 40 percent of annual expenses, and the 3,000 annual service requests are at an all-time high -- up 30 percent from last year.

"We can't survive if everyone waits `until they really need' Staying Put," Ferguson said. "Our seniors enrich the character of our town, and we depend greatly on those who support us before they need our help, giving more than they get back -- in memberships, volunteer time and contributions to our annual appeal. If we support Staying Put before we need it ourselves, we can ensure that it will continue to meet seniors' growing needs and be here for all of us when we do need it."

For information, visit www.stayingputnc.org or call 203-966-7762.