News and Events
May 1, 2013
Spring rains have been plentiful and they are increasing the prospects of a gloriously colorful May. Here at Elder Care Services, we strive to use our resources wisely and make positive impacts for our clients.
Through the end of the first four months of 2013 we have experienced the effects of both sunny and rainy financial climates with the ups and the downs of sequestration and this spring’s legislative session. Sequestration, as many of you know, took 6.6 % of our Older American's Act (OAA) funding handed down to ECS from the Department of Elder Affairs. That translated into $36,000 of lost revenue and a reduction of 10,166 meals for seniors. In what has become our traditional fashion, we did not despair. Instead, we put our heads down and charged ahead. We alerted the Tallahassee Democrat, and the editorial board covered our challenges in an Editorial Opinion piece. We rallied board members, and they created revised strategies. We appealed to our volunteers and loyal supporters, and they answered our call. Our efforts succeeded and we were pleased but not really surprised by the results.
As you know, one of our primary objectives is to keep frail seniors healthy and independent in their homes which delays or eliminates the costly alternative of long-term managed care. OAA funding is a lifeline to hundreds of our seniors and thousands in Florida. When we lose it, we are left only two options: securing new sources of funding or leaving a number of our seniors without their daily meal. Fortunately, we have not yet had to stop serving because the community and our incredible Meals on Wheels Volunteers have stepped forward and donated nearly half of those lost funds.
Dedicated supporters have saved our seniors. With $7,500 from Killearn Methodist and Christ Presbyterian Church parishioners, $5,530 from the community (many who have never donated before) and ECS employees, $2,600 from individual MOW volunteers and organizations who deliver meals, $1,000+ from Tallahassee Moose Lodge 1075 and $1,000 from other civic organizations we have recovered half of our funding loss. The balance will hopefully be raised on June 23rd at our newly created midyear fundraiser, A Night in Paris, which is being sponsored by Capital Health Plan to help us close the $18,000 gap. The event is shaping up to be an enchanting evening of entertainment fashioned specifically to help Elder Care Services maintain meal services.
Along with the outpouring of community support, another bright spot came from the Florida legislature. Back in February, my monthly message on our home page highlighted the need to educate legislators about the importance of Florida’s General Revenue funded home and community care programs: Community Care for the Elderly, Home Care for the Elderly, the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative, Respite, Memory Disorder Clinics and Local Service Programs. I am pleased to announce that they heard our pleas, read the letters and emails we wrote and responded with a $3.75 M increase in Community Care for the Elderly and $1.25M in Alzheimer's Respite. Local service programs, which underwent extensive budget review remain 100% funded and there were NO reductions in any general revenue funded aging programs... mission accomplished!
I am heartened by the leadership of our legislature and humbled again by the kindness and generosity of those who unconditionally support us with their time, effort and money. A number of our MOW volunteers have even offered to fund their individual routes if necessary. Hopefully that won't be needed after A Night in Paris on June 23 at the Hotel Duval.
Many thanks to all of you who so graciously rose to the occasion and believe so strongly in our mission.
With warm regards,
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