Santa Monica resident Jean Kelly was recently honored by the Human Relations Council, Santa Monica Bay Area, for her work in helping and protecting seniors.
Kelly, 82, makes some 90 phone calls a day to warn seniors across the country about potential telemarketing fraud, fake lotteries and other scams. She has worked at the Senior Fraud Prevention Call Center at WISE & Healthy Aging, a nonprofit social services organization in Santa Monica, since August 2007.
As a “fraud fighter” she explains how scams are run and provides tips on avoiding Internet identity theft and other types of fraud targeting older adults.
“It keeps me young,” Kelly confides. “I walk 12 blocks round trip to work each day and when I go to my volunteer job, I take the city bus. I’m healthier than most young people.”
Fire Chief Jim Hone praised Kelly for her service to the city at the Santa Monica Festival May 9th.
Kelly also trains new volunteers, runs the busy switchboard when operators need a break and compiles reports for AARP, which funds the Call Center’s efforts. She says she enjoys working with many people her own age, and notes “some are even older.”
“We have a number of volunteers who are in their 90s. We get to socialize and I like that very much,” she said.
A former legal secretary, Kelly has logged more than 7,000 hours as a volunteer at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center & Orthopaedic Hospital in its UCLA Healthcare 50 Plus Program in the past ten years.
A picture of Kelly is expected to be displayed on a Big Blue Bus poster in the future as part of her designation as a local hero.
For more information on WISE & Healthy Aging, (310) 394-9871.