Loneliness and isolation are pressing problems for many older Vermonters.
This was the case with an older man named Karl. Life had thrown him many challenges: a troubled childhood, combat duty during World War II, and years of homelessness due to an alcohol addiction. His experiences made it difficult for him to trust others, so he often struggled in solitude.
A sense of desperation finally prompted Karl to contact us. An advocate helped him with his housing, medical and financial needs so he could remain as independent as possible. With ongoing support in place, Karl had a new lease on life. He picked up old hobbies and volunteered with local organizations.
Despite these many improvements, Karl still often felt lonely. Then, he brought home a little red bundle of fur. This dog, which he named Foxy, became his fast friend. Karl delighted in her zest for life and her fun antics. She went with him everywhere, riding proudly on his lap as he navigated his electric wheelchair. Through Foxy, Karl made many new friends who were a comforting source of support to him for the rest of his life.
Millions of Americans think of pets as family members. Pets may not only stave off loneliness but also can reduce blood pressure, provide mental health benefits, and offer unconditional love and acceptance. Unfortunately, many people on fixed incomes have difficulty keeping up with the rising costs of owning a pet.
With proceeds from Karl’s estate, Senior Solutions administers the Foxy Fund in memory of Karl and his beloved companion. This fund provides grants to low-income seniors in southeastern Vermont to assist with unexpected costs of caring for their pets.
Donations are needed now to replenish the fund. If you would like to help elders with pet care needs, you can make donations online or by mail:
- Mail your donation to us. Please click here and mail the donation form to our offices at 38 Pleasant Street, Springfield, VT 05156. Please be sure to write “Foxy Fund” in the memo field of your check.
- Make a donation online. Please click here to visit our donation portal on Network for Good and identify “Foxy Fund” in the designation box.
For more details about the Foxy Fund, please call our offices at 1-802-885-2655.
Foxy Fund News
$20,000 Grant Secured to Expand Pet Programming!
Senior Solutions has just been awarded a $20,000 grant from Meals on Wheels America and PetSmart Charities to expand our existing Foxy Fund for veterinary care and pet food and supplies for our Meals on Wheels recipients. Senior Solutions was one of only 27 grants awarded nationally, and the only one in the northeast.
Vermonters have the highest pet-ownership rate in the country at 71%. Studies have shown that pets positively impact both the physical and emotional health of seniors in significant ways, especially those at risk of social isolation.
“We are incredibly excited about this opportunity,” said Outreach Specialist Thom Simmons. “In April and May we will be working out the logistics in a test pilot with the Springfield Meals Center, so clients in Andover, Chester, Perkinsville, and Springfield with pets should keep watch for information in their meals deliveries. Once it is operating smoothly, we will offer to expand it to other towns across our service area by working with the other meals centers. This will greatly transform our existing Foxy Fund program and help many of our clients keep and care for their pets.” Read more about the Foxy Fund