Greetings from Steven R. Clark, Elders in Actions Board President:
All of us need help in our lives at one time or another. As we age, we may lose our support structure that allows us to remain independent – family may live in another state, we may out live our friends, and we live on a fixed income. Your financial support of Elders in Action ensures there is always someone to turn to for help, as Ginny did.
Ginny, who is 81 years old, called Elders in Action recently to ask for help sorting out her medical bills. She had set up a payment plan with her provider, but was uncertain about what it was for. When Elders in Action Personal Advocate, Mary S., arrived at Ginny’s home to assist her, she discovered there were issues of more pressing concern.
Ginny’s checking account was overdrawn. She had some confusion about how her bills were paid –some were auto withdrawal from her bank, some by credit card, others by check, making it all hard to track. Ginny was chronically late paying her bills and was spending her limited income on subscriptions and donations she couldn’t afford.
With Mary’s assistance and encouragement, Ginny was able to qualify for a payment assistance program for her medical bills and resolve her late payments and overdraft fees. Together, they were able to find $2,400 in yearly savings by reviewing Ginny’s budget and cancelling unaffordable donations and subscriptions. This savings will allow Ginny to retain her independence and feel secure in her housing.
Our volunteers like to call a situation like Ginny’s “peeling the onion”. Through careful listening and attention, Personal Advocates may find and assist with a deeper problem than initially presented to help the older adult back onto the road of well-being and security.
Each of the last three years we have seen a yearly increase of 20% in requests for support from our personal advocate program –approximately 500 more seniors are calling us each year. Last year your support enabled us to add a part-time position. That was a start but we want to do more. Your support will help us to move closer to our goal of making this position full time.
In addition, your support will allow us to develop strategies to serve older adults from diverse communities more effectively and will ensure we can continue our advocacy for an age friendly community. It is my privilege to lead an organization that exists to advocate for and help older adults. We all need help at various points in our lives and because of you; older adults like Ginny, will always have Elders in Action to reach out to.
Today I ask that you please give generously. Please join me and the Board members of Elders in Action, with a donation to help us meet our goal of raising $15,000 during our year-end campaign. Your financial support does make a difference!
P.S. I would like to take this opportunity to ask you to Save the Date! The date of our Annual Gala is April 22, 2016. Join us to hear in person about the impact your donation makes in the lives of older adults. I hope to see you there!