University of Toledo alumna Charlotte L. Shaffer has been inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame in recognition of her work in human services in the Toledo area during the past 50 years.Shaffer, who is recognized as the founder of the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio Inc., started her career in service at the Lutheran Neighborhood House community center and went on to work in several planning and development agencies.
During her time as the executive of the Toledo Council of Social Agencies in the 1960s, Shaffer sought grants and other aid to support services such as the Toledo Northwest Ohio Food Bank and the first information and referral center in the community.
In the 1970s, Shaffer served as the executive director of the Community Planning Council of Northwest Ohio that created the Area Office on Aging.
“We were interested when we learned about the possibility of developing an office on aging in the area,” Shaffer said. “The foresighted development of the people for the needs of the elderly was impressive. We were always focused on the needs in a community.”
Shaffer continues to be an active member of the board of the Area Office on Aging.
“I feel I was very fortunate to be involved in this,” she said. “Nobody knew how big it would be. It took a lot of people, a lot of citizens, to create something like this.”
Shaffer received her philosophy degree from The University of Toledo in 1948. She and her late husband, Harold, established the Shaffer Fund with the Toledo Community Foundation to support an endowed chair in the UT Department of Biological Sciences.
Shaffer also has served as a volunteer with several organizations, including the Junior League of Toledo, the Salvation Army and Lutheran Social Services.
“Those inducted into the Senior Citizens Hall of Fame embody the productivity and enjoyment that should be a part of every person’s older years,” said Bonnie Kantor-Burman, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “Charlotte Shaffer represents a positive image of aging with a lifestyle defined not by age, but by her contributions and service that impact the future for older adults.”
Nineteen individuals, including Shaffer, were inducted into the hall of fame at this year’s ceremony May 26 at the Capitol Theatre in Columbus. They join more than 350 individuals who have been inducted since the hall’s inception in 1977.