By Mark Boutwell, Executive Directory
Christmas is what it felt like last week when I signed letters to 21 organizations across the Senior Solutions service area announcing their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding awards. Last year, Senior Solutions received ARPA funds through the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living to help support the expansion of services by our community nonprofit partner organizations. On June 8, the Senior Solutions Board of Directors approved the awards that ranged from kitchen equipment repairs and purchases to shared housing incentives and senior center capacity building. The proposals all focus on necessary and innovative ways to help older Vermonters meet their daily needs. The total of these awards came to just over $151,000.
In October we will make grants available again on a limited basis. We look forward to reviewing more exciting proposals. Supporting our community partners in ways like this is one of the best parts of my job.
If you, too, find it rewarding to play a part in supporting the wellbeing and dignity of older Vermonters, I invite you to talk with me or one of our Board members about joining our Board of Directors or our Advisory Council. There are many opportunities within the Board of Directors to provide a valued connection to the 46 towns that we serve in southeastern Vermont. We are recruiting board members who are passionate about our cause, willing to act on that passion, and have the knowledge and skills that Senior Solutions values. As a board member you will receive training on governance, budgeting, fundraising, and much more.
Senior Solutions directors commit to attending one board meeting each month (typically two hours) and participating in at least one committee. In 2020 and 2021 many meetings were convened over the internet, but the board normally meets at the Senior Solutions office in Springfield.
Under the Older Americans Act, Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) are directed to establish an Advisory Council, which is charged with furthering the agency’s mission of developing and coordinating community-based systems of services for all older persons. As the name suggests, the Council advises–it does not govern. Roles of an Advisory Council member include being an ambassador to your community and enhancing Senior Solutions’ visibility, championing and representing our interests and the clientele we serve, and ensuring adequate resources to carry out our mission. Advisory Council members are appointed by the town managers for the towns they represent. Please click here for more information about these roles, or contact me directly at MBoutwell@seniorsolutionsvt.org If you are interested in becoming an Advisory Council member, you can also contact Council chair Beth Spicer at email@example.com.