Free phone calls for low-income seniors

Merrill Lynch is hosting "Call Home For The Holidays" on Dec. 20.

More than one hundred low-income Tacoma seniors will get the chance to phone a friend or family member this holiday season. “Call Home For The Holidays,” hosted by Merrill Lynch, will provide 140 seniors with 20 minutes of free long distance phone time to friends or family members anywhere in the world from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., on Saturday, Dec. 20.

Merrill Lynch, located on the 18th floor of the Wells Fargo Building, 1201 Pacific Ave., will provide 15 phones for seniors and their families to make the calls. The City of Tacoma Senior Services, which co-hosts the event, invites the seniors from local senior centers and various senior organizations, some of whom have not spoken to their family members in years.

Staff members of Merrill Lynch help find area codes, assist seniors with telephones, bring cookies and decorate their offices for the occasion. Many seniors come with volunteer interpreters from City senior centers to help them place phone calls overseas. Downtown Tacoma Rotary #8 provides rides to seniors without transportation.

Seniors must be age 60 or over and have an income of less than $1,754 for an individual and $2,008 a month for a couple. Seniors interested in participating should contact City of Tacoma Senior Services, 253/591-5075 before 2 p.m. Dec. 19 or by Dec. 17 if they need a ride.

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