Did you know that 38,000 of Jacksonville seniors live alone on less than $18,000 a year? Many of them don’t have support networks and therefore have needs that go unanswered. Jacksonville based Hart Felt Ministries responds to these calls of desperation and helps nearly 550 seniors each year. Their mission: to help local seniors stay independent and age gracefully in their own homes.

“Seniors are so often forgotten in our society. We don’t think about what it is like for them just to be able to leave their home and walk outside” says Hart Felt Ministries President and CEO Kelly Moorman Collins.

Hart Felt has been described by Habijax as the “only game in town” for a low-income senior to acquire a high-quality ramp at no charge. The organization gets supplies at cost, but each ramp still costs three thousand dollars to produce.  All labor is donated by volunteer teams who build quality ramps to city specifications, under the supervision of a licensed general contractor.

The organization was incorporated in 2003 when then Ponte Vedra resident Jane Hart heeded God’s call to establish a ministry to help frail seniors in Jacksonville. Hart Felt clients are age 70+, battle one or more chronic or terminal disabilities, and are often isolated and vulnerable with no support system – 85% are widows. Ramps offer them safe access to and from their home, and empower them to regain some of the freedom they enjoyed in the past. Once again they can sit outside in the sun, visit neighbors, attend church, and shop for groceries.

Volunteers also provide friendly visits, grocery shopping, light housekeeping, advocacy, assistance with correspondence, minor home repairs, respite care, ramp construction, transportation to appointments, yard mowing and cleanup, and more. Donations are used for emergency financial assistance, minor home repairs, and to provide gift cards for groceries and other essential services, including veterinary visits for both service and companion animals. All services are performed at no cost to the client. The organization has an extensive waiting list of potential clients in need.

Hart Felt Ministries became a new outreach partner of Christ Church in 2016, when through a grant, we made a gift for wheelchair ramp construction. Last year, a ramp was built by members of the Mandarin Rotary at the Northwest Jacksonville home of “Miss Estella,” using funds provided by Christ Church parishioners. This year our outreach will again provide funds for this hardworking non-profit agency. Giving thanks and welcoming our continued involvement, Kelly says “We are honored to be His hands and feet. It’s such a blessing to be able to go out and make a difference in someone’s life this way.”

Interested in volunteering with Hart Felt Ministries? Contact them directly for details.