Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Greater Impact for Atlanta Seniors: Unchanging Support in these Changing Times

Last year we decided to provide more communications to you via email than via mail in an effort to reduce costs. We have done the same belt tightening that nearly every other business and household has had to do in our society. But I don’t want to utilize this column to bemoan the various challenges that our organization has endured by the difficult economy. Instead, I want you to know how grateful we are to you, our supporters and volunteers, for your unchanging support in these rapidly changing times.

You were there for our seniors last fall when our home repair storage unit was broken into at nearly the same time as rains and flooding wreaked havoc in so many seniors’ homes. Donations and fundraising from Knight Strikers and Iron Bred Motorcycle Club and St. Mark United Methodist Church enabled our Home Repair Services team to restore services almost immediately, replacing the stolen equipment and allowing seniors in desperate need of help to receive it.

You were there for our seniors when our signature black-tie event, A Meal To Remember, saw record-low corporate sponsorships. Under the leadership of Chairs Charlene Crusoe-Ingram and Marlene Alexander and Auction Chair Su So-Longman, corporate sponsorships were replaced by individual donations and auction participation. The loss of revenues by corporate sponsors was replaced by passionate individuals who could not bear to see seniors go hungry. Rather than maintaining keep even more seniors on waiting lists for meals, an increased number of seniors were able to receive the critical nutrition provided by Meals On Wheels Atlanta this year.

You were there for our seniors when volunteerism appeared to also be affected by the economy. With two more months of reporting left in the fiscal year, we have received more than 1,600 hours of additional volunteer support than last year’s 12 months! You are delivering meals, repairing homes, and helping seniors in our centers and in their homes in amazingly meaningful ways.

So I salute you and say a very heartfelt thank you to each of you SCS champions. You have told the world that seniors matter…period. You agree that it is unacceptable to leave seniors hungry, to leave seniors in cold or flooded homes, to leave seniors without the support they need to enjoy a high quality of life. We pledge to continue to make the most of every penny you contribute, of every minute you volunteer. And, we pledge not to rest until every senior in our great city is offered the same support and care that they offered to prior generations.

--by Jeff Smythe, Executive Director

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