Senior Services of Alexandria, Meals on Wheels of America, and CNN teamed up to create a news clip on senior women and hunger, which aired on Sunday, May 13, 2012. Our very own Board Member and Meals on Wheels volunteer extraordinaire Tom Irvin was taped and interviewed as he completed his daily deliveries. Watch the video below!
Business Philanthropy Summit Awards
We are very proud to announce that over the last few months, several Senior Services of Alexandria Board and staff members, as well as program and partners have been honored for their commitment to excellence in the field of aging. Our very own Janet Barnett was named Nonprofit Leader of the Year at Spring for Alexandria's Business Philanthropy Summit hosted by Volunteer Alexandria on Friday, May 4, 2012. Not only did Janet deliver a wonderful speech, but she received the only standing ovation of the event as well. Way to go, Janet! See Janet's acceptance speech here.
Commission on Aging - Excellence in Again Awards
On Tuesday, May 8, 2012, four of the awards given at the 2012 Commission on Aging Excellence in Aging Awards ceremony went to Senior Services of Alexandria Board Members or friends. Board Member Dave Baker received the Lois Van Valkenburgh Excellence in Aging Award for an Individual and one of the two Excellence in Aging Awards for an Organization was presented to the Rotary Club of Alexandria for their participation in the expansion of the Meals on Wheels program to include Saturday meals. Last, but not least, two Senior Taxi drivers, Shahid Ahmed and Abdulkadir Abdi were recognized "for their compassionate and courteous service to seniors." Thank you for all that each and every one of you do for seniors in Alexandria!
"Celebrating successes and embracing challenges" has been my mantra lately in almost every personal, professional, and volunteer activity. We celebrate milestone birthdays, and embrace the challenges that come with aging. We celebrate milestones in careers, such as retirement, and then face the inevitable challenges of the purposeful use of time and, for most, reduced income.
Nonprofit organizations face similar celebrations and challenges as they face the future, and Senior Services of Alexandria is no different. We have much to celebrate! In just the last two years SSA completed a comprehensive strategic plan for the future and has implemented new programs and enhanced others to provide services to the community, including:
Fundraising to expand Meals on Wheels from the City-funded 5-day program to holidays and Saturdays so that homebound residents can receive nourishing meals at least 6 days each week. We are still working on finding funds to provide meals for Sundays, but thanks to generous donors we have achieved part of the goal!
Implementation of a series of programs to provide information to the public about issues related to aging. The Speaker's Series started in October 2011 with the Senior Citizens Law Day, produced in conjunction with the Alexandria Bar Association. The monthly pro- grams that followed have been well-attended and SSA has partnered with City agencies, the faith community and other nonprofit entities to make these events available to residents. Please also be sure to put the next Senior Citizens Law Day event on your calendar now: Saturday, October 13, 2012, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm at First Baptist Church. Registration information will be available in late August.
Enhanced employment opportunities for seniors through a partnership with Senior Employment Resources ("SER"). SER staff now have regular hours at the SSA offices to meet with job seekers to help polish resumes and interviewing skills and to counsel on employment search techniques.
Creation of a Resource Center to provide information and referrals for seniors and their loved ones, as well as to oversee the Speaker's Series and SER programs. The Resource Center also provides in-home care referrals, and daily money management services.
Enhanced community visibility through communications, articles, and partnerships with other organizations.
SSA also celebrated a historically successful 2012 Generation to Generation Gala! This annual fundraiser honored three families of parents who make a difference in Alexandria and have instilled the virtues of public and volunteer service in their children. The tireless work of Gala chair Mitch Opalski and Silent Auction Chair Jane Foote was amazing and this elegant affair brought much needed funds to SSA.
Several grants were received this year to supply new computers, provide start-up funds for the Resource Center, and to examine and improve development planning, among others. The Board and staff currently are working with consultants from the COMPASS program to explore options for development programs to help SSA become financially secure.
The Board of Directors looked critically at the operation of SSA this year and voted to change the structure to better reflect the true function of the organization. For example, SSA has always been a "membership" organization, but there was no application for or responsibilities and privileges of membership other than to vote at the annual meeting. Members included anyone who contributed to SSA. Since the only involvement of a "member" was really as a donor, the Board voted to eliminate the membership designation. The articles of incorporation were restated in March to reflect this change.
The Bylaws of SSA also were amended this year because of the membership change, and also to reflect the current mission statement and purposes of SSA, provide for succession of leadership by creating the positions of President-Elect and Past President, and allow for flexibility in the formation and operation of committees. We have been recruiting volunteers to serve on committees and those committees have been working hard to examine the various issues, support the staff, and bring reasoned, well-researched and considered voices to matters that concern SSA. I truly hope that some of the volunteers who are working on the committees will eventually become leaders of SSA to ensure its continued success. Thank you to each of you!
Senior Services of Alexandria has much to be proud of and to celebrate! Most recently Executive Director, Janet Barnett, was named the Nonprofit Leader of the Year by the Business Philanthropy Summit, part of Spring for Alexandria and Volunteer Alexandria. This is a clear indication of the effort, talents, and commitment Janet has brought to SSA and the Board is delighted by her recognition!
Of course, the challenges ahead are significant and mirror some of the challenges faced by seniors and their loved ones:
Ensuring financial viability to support the programs seniors need;
Continuing to build community partnerships with other nonprofits, the faith based community, and City agencies;
Developing leaders of SSA who bring vision and experience to the Board and programs;
Recruiting and training volunteers to serve critical needs; Monitoring and administering Meals on Wheels, Senior Taxi and DOT programs to be sure citizen needs are met promptly and efficiently, particularly in light of expansion of the eligible population; and
Exploring ways to meet the informational needs of senior citizens, their families and loved ones as we experience this journey, to permit seniors to age with dignity in the Alexandria community, whether in their own homes or in communal living arrangements.
I invite you to participate in SSA's programs and activities, and to become involved as a volunteer. Your talents and skills will be appreciated and will enhance the programs so many residents rely on daily. Please join us in this effort to make Alexandria a place where seniors can purposefully decide to age within our community, knowing that resources are here to support their decision!
Dear Friends and Supporters: My report to you is a happy one. I firmly believe in the mission of our dynamic agency: to serve the seniors of Alexandria. The aging population continues to grow and so does our daily work. Our name signifies the goals and the challenges we face.
We are on target to continue our growth and ser vices "to foster independence and self-sufficiency, enabling seniors within the City of Alexandria to age with dignity." This is not merely a slogan. It's the commitment we have for daily service.
The daily work we have is made possible by our friends like you who make tax-deductible contributions and do it because it's a joy to give back and to help seniors in our city.
It is incumbent upon me as executive director to set the pace in leading SSA to success. The task is not easy and can't be accomplished without our excellent staff of committed professionals and the daily support of our wonderful volunteers.
Our annual gala, "Generation to Generation", was an engaging March night to remember. We raised necessary funds with the silent auction, a fine dinner and a night of entertainment. The community turned out to ratify our efforts and affirmed their commitment to the work of Senior Services of Alexandria.
Some 300 supporters attended our gala. I am proud of the support and affection for our organization and for the people we serve. Our services are vital to the lives of seniors. In an economy where cutbacks are real, we can't curtail the Meals on Wheels program. We must continue to help seniors find the services they need and offer programs that enable them to enjoy activities that enhance the quality of their lives.
We believe that no task is too big or too small as we make every effort to enrich the lives of the growing population of seniors. As this number increases, there are many more ways that SSA can help. My motto could well be that we enhance many lives in many ways. I am proud of our team. I am thrilled at those honored at the Gala. They are true examples of families working to continue the work of helping others. Accolades are in order for Rosa Byrd and Patricia Yancey, Harlene Clayton and Stephanie Clayton, and Patsy Ticer and Margaret Janowsky. These mother-daughter teams make Alexandria better. There are many more individuals we can and should honor. There is another year to come. But the real honorees are our clients who make this work even more exciting and worthwhile.
When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthdays. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing, however. In April of 1963, President John F. Kennedy's meet with the National Council of Senior Citizens in what served as a prelude to designating May as "Senior Citizens Month."
Over a decade later, President Jimmy Carter gave the new name "Older Americans Month" to the previously existing "Senior Citizens Month." Since then, a celebration of aging has taken place each May. In the past, Older Americans Month was a time to acknowledge the contributions of our country's older citizens, both living and recently passed. According to the 2010 census, with over 40 million living Americans reaching their 65th birthday and baby boomers entering retirement, this mindset has started to shift. No longer are our later years seen merely as the time for reflection on one's life lived; rather, the later adult years are now seen as replete with opportunities for rebirth, be it personal or professional. Through the benefits of contemporary living - medicine, exercise, nutrition, technology, accessible transportation, and greater infrastructure - Older Americans have the freedom to get out, be active, socialize, and live longer than ever before. It is this very theme - Never Too Old To Play! - that the 2012 Older Americans Month celebrates in communities across the country.
Join us as we celebrate 2012 Older Americans Month this May by engaging an older Alexandrian in your life. There are many things you can do: go out to eat at a new restaurant, visit an art museum, teach an Older American how to use a computer, email, Skype, or set up a Facebook account, take a ballroom dance class, go to a baseball game, play golf, play chess, see live music, volunteer together, and more!
To find out about some of the opportunities older Alexandrians can participate in, contact Mary Lee Anderson, Senior Resource Center Director by emailing email@example.com, calling (703) 836 4414, ext 13, or simply visit our website at www.SeniorServicesAlex.org.
On Saturday, March 31, 2012, over 300 supporters of Senior Ser- vices of Alexandria filled the grand hall at the Alexandria Hilton Mark Center to honor six individuals at the 2012 Generation to Generation Gala. That evening, the lives and accomplishments of Rosa Byrd and her daughter Patricia Yancey, Harlene Clayton and her daughter Stephanie Clayton, and The Honorable Patricia S. Ticer and her daughter Margaret Janowsky were highlighted in a series of short biographical documentaries, and celebrated by all.
In addition to being warm and heartfelt, the evening's program was quick and efficient. The night was overseen by MC and Gala Chair Mitch Opalski. Mitch's remarks were followed by those of Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA), who brief ly discussed the evening's purpose in light of the state of our country. Following a delicious dinner, and the airing of the short films, Board President Barbara Anderson and City of Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille formally recognized each honoree in person and presented them with an award. CONTINUED...
If you would like to make a gift in honor, celebration, or memory of someone or an event in your life, please make a donation using the link below, sending in a check with a note attached, or by calling us at (703) 836-4414, ext. 10. Please enclose the following with your gift: the type of dedicated gift (honor/celebration/memory), the person or event being recognized, their contact information, and who it is from. As a thank you for your donation, we will send you and your contact a special note card announcing your gift.
On behalf of Senior Services of Alexandria, thank you for considering this lovely and meaningful way to say you care to the important people in your life.
For more information on the ways you can support Senior Services of Alexandria, your loved ones, friends, and community members, visit our Ways of Giving page.
Everyday SSA responds to calls from seniors and their families who need advice on where to find services and support in Alexandria. The Resource Center helps people find qualified in-home caregivers, helps individuals with daily money management, and provides referrals to the vast array of public and private resources for seniors in the City.
Last fall, we decided it was important to share this information with the community through public forums focused on key issues that every senior would find important. CONTINUED...
Over 1,500 Mayors delivered meals on Mayors for Meals Day 2012 and Alexandria's Mayor William D. Euille was one of them!
Mayors for Meals is part of the greater March for Meals campaign sponsored by the Meals on Wheels Association of America. Each year, on the third Wednesday in March, every city and county Meals on Wheels program throughout the United States recruits their local mayors, elected city officials, and key city staff to deliver the day's meals as part of Mayors for Meals Day. This is done with the purpose of drawing attention to the nutritional needs of the area's elderly population. According to the Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA), "Nearly six million seniors faced the threat of hunger in 2007." Addition- ally, seniors are, "significantly more likely to have lower intakes of energy and major vitamins, significantly more likely to be in poor or fair health and more likely to have limitations in activities of daily living (ADL)." CONTINUED...
Did You Know...
... that the Meals on Wheels program accepts short term, partial-week, and self-pay clients in addition to long term and payment-assisted clients? Know someone who could benefit from this service?
The DOT Paratransit and Senior Taxi programs have two new employees: Tiana Ward and Angela Armstrong. We asked Tiana and Angie what they liked about working with SSA:
Tiana: I enjoy helping the customers and putting a smile on their faces. And I enjoy the staff that I work with too. The DOT Paratransit program and Senior Taxi are wonderful services.
Angela Armstrong Angie: Assisting our clients with making reservations for their travels gives me great joy. I hear the smiles in their voices when I say, "Your taxi is on the way." It's a pleasure serving our clients at Senior Services of Alexandria.
This summer, Senior Services of Alexandria will partner with United Way of the National Capital Area in the launch of their first Board Leadership Development Training Program. This program is designed to provide a meaningful volunteer opportunity through which young professionals can perform as leaders in the nonprofit community. As a participating organization, SSA will host an intern from the United Way's Emerging Leader program on the Board as a non-voting member for one year. We are thrilled to add a young, eager mind to this organization, and we look forward to working together so that our goals for FY2013 are met and exceeded!
Ensure Alexandria's seniors have a place to turn for trustworthy information and support. Donate to Senior Services of Alexandria, today.
Save the Date!
2012 Annual Meeting Featuring the election of the 2013
Board of Directors Thursday, June 21, 2012
Noon - 1:30 p.m.
The Fountains at Washington House
5100 Fillmore Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22311
2nd Annual Senior Law Day Co-hosted with the Alexandria
FREE aging-related legal and financial information Saturday, October 13, 2012
9:30 a.m. - Noon
First Baptist Church of Alexandria
2932 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22302
For more information about any of our events, please call 703-836-4414 ext 10 or visit our events page.