Vest Dressed for Safety
Sometimes it takes someone’s misfortune to inspire others to a cause.
That’s what sparked Noelle Merrill, Eastern Area Agency on Aging executive director, to make Vest Dressed for Safety a reality.
“I read where a woman was struck and killed by a car while crossing the road to get her mail,” said Merrill. “That’s when this idea that had been mulling in my head came to life.”
Merrill, a devoted runner who is often pounding the pavement in less than perfect light, dons her highly reflective vest as avidly as her running shoes.
“Eastern Area Agency on Aging’s Vest Dressed for Safety program makes reflective vests available to senior citizens,” said Merrill. “As an agency, we are committed to the safety of every senior. And with daylight hours becoming fewer and fewer, people are out and about in the dark, when it is more difficult for motorists to see them.”
As Maine is so rural, oftentimes people don’t have sidewalks, so they walk in the road or close to it. And for some seniors, hearing loss and changes in their peripheral vision may make it harder to hear or see the vehicle, added Merrill.
Wearing a reflective vest, which reflects light up to one thousand feet away, gives a motorist plenty of time to maneuver safely and it is hoped avoid a pedestrian.
EAAA has distributed more than 100 vests since the Vest Dressed for Safety program started in late October. While these vests are not specially made for EAAA, and have always been available through local retailers, Merrill thinks it will be easier for seniors to get one from EAAA instead of shopping around.
“If getting a vest becomes complicated, with going from store to store, people may not bother,” said Merrill. “EAAA wants to make safety easy for them. And we want seniors to get into the habit of wearing a reflective vest whenever they are out and about – day and night.”Get your vest today and venture out with confidence. Please send a $10 donation (to help cover EAAA’s cost) to Eastern Area Agency on Aging, 450 Essex Street, Bangor, ME 04401, Attention: Vest Dressed for Safety.
Be sure to include your mailing address and size so EAAA can send you your vest. One hundred percent of your donation goes toward the cost of the vest.