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Celebration Honors 100-Year-Old Volunteer

Apr 24, 2024

‘Mr. Prince’ Still Visits Seniors 4 Days a Week, 4 Hours a Day

When Prince Whitstone decided in 2000 to fill his time in retirement by volunteering, his goal was to stay active while giving back. As he turns 100 years old this week, it seems this remarkable volunteer has found a secret to longevity we all may be looking for. For 24 years, he has been a stellar and well-loved volunteer with People Inc.

Four days a week, Whitstone, who lives alone, takes a bus to his volunteer “job” on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. Day in and day out, he arrives well before his 9:00 a.m. start time and works until 1:00 p.m.  providing companionship and support to seniors as part of People Inc.’s Senior Companion program. He provides socialization and conversation for seniors, does some housekeeping and keeps people and facilities in order.

Why does he do it? “I have to keep moving,” Whitstone said. “And it keeps me out of trouble.”

Volunteers and staff from People Inc.’s Senior Companion program honored “Mr. Prince,” as he is known there, with a surprise “celebration of aging” for his 100th Birthday.

A soft-spoken and private man who was born and raised in Memphis, Tenn., Whitstone worked at Acme Steel in Buffalo for 29 years and then at National Gypsum for 10 years. While he was employed full time, he also worked as a barber.

Alissa Yax, Senior Companion Program Coordinator, describes Whitstone as “very independent.” “He is a great volunteer, and he is full of energy,” she said. “If someone asks if he needs help, he politely declines. He often serves as a role model for other volunteers. Everyone here really appreciates him.”

“We are grateful for ‘Mr. Prince’ and his incredible dedication to People Inc.,” said Anne McCaffrey, People Inc. president and CEO. “He is an example of the strides people can make at any age when they have a purpose and others around them who care. That is true for both our volunteers and the people supported through the Senior Companion program. We are so pleased to celebrate with Mr. Prince and wish him a very Happy 100th Birthday!”

The People Inc. Senior Companion Program assists older adults with daily living tasks so that they can retain their dignity and independence. Senior Companions are volunteers ages 55 years or older. Activities of a Senior Companion volunteer may include helping with errands, providing friendship and companionship, communicating with doctors and family members, and providing respite for caregivers.

News coverage of 'Mr. Prince's' achievement helped honor him:

Buffalo News: A People Inc. volunteer celebrates 24 years of helping others, and 100 years of living

WGRZ: Celebrating a 100-year-old's birthday, and his commitment to service

WKBW:  "Keep going and going': Celebration honors 100-year-old volunteer