Letter from the Director: March-April 2024

Director’s Message

Huge Thank You….We would like to sincerely thank all that contributed to our donation fund in November and December.  Your generosity assisted us in meeting some of our financial obligations to Sound Generations and our year-end debt.  As grant payments from government agencies can take up to 90 days, we do not as yet, have our final budget status for 2023.  We will be sure to post it in the May/June newsletter once the auditors have completed their review of our finances.

On behalf of the staff, we would also like to thank you for your kind words and display of support as we hosted the Celebration of Life for our dear colleague and friend, Janice Bellotti-Pace Sheikh.  We have never experienced losing 2 team members in a short period of time and it has taken its toll on us.

Bequests/Legacy Giving….We are deeply grateful to a wonderful volunteer and participant, Carolyn Enloe, who passed away July 29th, 2022. Carolyn loved the Center and had a great desire to continue supporting our mission.  In her final days, she bequeathed $71,000 to the Senior Center, to be used for general overhead expenses (rent, utilities, food, staff, etc.). Carolyn served as a Reception Desk volunteer for many years, providing outstanding service to all. If you would like to learn more about our Legacy/Bequest Giving Program, please contact me for further details, and see page 5.

Lake Forest Park Rotary….We are grateful to Lake Forest Park Rotary for their recent acceptance of our grant application for $2,500 to support our Food Expenses this year.  In 2024, we budgeted a need to raise $24,800 to cover food costs and welcome any individual or corporate donations to support the food programs.  This is an indispensable service to our seniors.

Wish List….In order to reduce costs early in the year, we have started a Wish List which is featured on our website www.shorelinelfpseniorcenter.org.  Click on the link Get Involved to review the entire list of needs.  We will update the Wish List monthly.  Please be sure to note that we cannot take expired or damaged goods nor used items per our compliance to Heath Codes.  A list of needs is located in the front lobby.  Items can be dropped off at the front desk, preferably Fridays between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Thank you for choosing to donate.

Vaccination Day….Mark your calendars for March 15th, to attend our Vaccination Day, in partnership with Walgreens Pharmacy.  Vaccinations offered will include Covid and RSV shots.  Please call or stop by the Reception Desk to register for the event.  Bring your insurance card.  No insurance, come anyways!  See page 4.

The staff look forward to a great new year and new experiences.  See you at the Center!

 

Theresa LaCroix, Executive Director

Letter from the Staff

January/February 2024

Staff Message,

We would like to start with a heartfelt thank you to all that donated during October, November and December 2023, as we were able to raise $11,000 in Independent Donations.  Your donations will assist in our payment of rental, utilities, equipment repairs (kitchen), pesticide control, custodial services, telephone/internet services, bathroom/kitchen products, food supplies and many other overhead expenses.

We still need to raise $14,000 before December 31st and are making a sincere plea to our participants and members to assist us in this endeavor.  If you have enjoyed the benefits of any of our free programming or medical services during this past year, please consider donating so that we can continue our work in 2024.

Addressing Misconceptions:

  • We do not receive any of our budget from Sound Generations
  • Many people think we are fully funded by Sound Generations, but that is not true. We do not receive our budget from Sound Generations but rather are contracted in a Service Agreement with this larger non-profit for them to provide back-office services: IT services, Human Resources, and assistance from their Finance Dept. to assist with government grant billing and payroll processing. We pay this organization anywhere from $60,000 to $80,000/year for their assistance under this agreement.
  • We are not owned and operated by the City of Shoreline
  • Quite a few folks are surprised to learn that we are not owned and operated by the City of Shoreline or Lake Forest Park. Both the cities of Shoreline and Lake Forest Park provide some financial support in the form of grants that equaled 1/6 of our total budget in 2023; we are most grateful for their support but are 100% independent of these cities and generate our own budget.
  • We do not automatically receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in government grants
  • We receive some grant funding that we have diligently applied to and won through a competitive process. The hard-core truth is that post-COVID, the grants are few and far between.  The city of Seattle sponsors several senior-oriented grants but as our city is incorporated, we do not qualify.  The major focus in 2023 has been grants for youth and homeless programs and services, not senior focused services.
  • Not all instructors donate their time
  • Only 4 individuals donate their time. All of our instructors hold the highest level of credentials, and all continue to gain skills in their crafts as specialists in each of their disciplines as well as gerontology knowledge.  Post COVID, we risked the possibility of losing many of the instructors to other agencies paying a higher wage, therefore we raised their wages to meet the competition.  This is their income and not their hobby.

 

What you may not know is that the staff works behind the scenes, to provide many unseen needs of our community of aging adults.  This includes resourcing housing, groceries, working with external agencies in the case of elder abuse, and actively speaking on behalf of seniors for their rights and needs, from the local level to federal.  This involves attending meetings during and after hours as well as writing documents to support our rights.  In the new era of ageism, we are determined to speak out and be heard regarding those issues most important to our well-being.  Thank you to all for your kindness, support, and assistance in building our center’s program offerings and medical services. Please donate to support your center and the great work that we all do!

Letter from the Director: November-December 2023

Director’s Message

It is amazing to see that we are heading into the last quarter of 2023 and the holiday season.
So much has happened this year and I’d like to share a few thoughts on progress that we have
made in offering a wider variety of programming and additional services. Here are just a few
successes we saw this year:
• Added 5 hours of Spanish language programming on Wednesdays for our Hispanic guests
• Added Conversational Spanish class for English language participants
• Added 2-4 ethnic meals monthly in the Community Dining Program
• Hosted Emergency Preparedness lecture and distribution of 70+ Emergency Backpacks
• Added Rainbow Bingo and Trivia Night to evening programming
• Hosted successful weekend classes: Age Reversing Essentrics and Climate Support Yoga
• Added several new fitness and lifelong learning classes M-F; Otago, Zumba Gold, Roll N’ Roll
Aerobics, Healing Moves Yoga series, Veterans Yoga, Cancer Survivors’ Exercise Class, Take
Control Through Exercise During Cancer Treatment, Coloring for Adults, Puget Sound
Strummers Ukelele Jam Session, Conversational ESL, and Beginner ESL Reading; and classes
are full
• Added Acupuncture, Veterans Benefit Advisor, and free Social Work counseling
• Experienced the greatest growth in our history, of attracting greater diversity and
participation in classes and medical services

We successfully acquired $273,000+ in grant funding to support our programs and the Social
Worker’s and Veterans Benefit Advisor positions. With that said, we were left approximately
$467,000 to raise to meet our anticipated budget of $740,000. Thank you for purchasing
Memberships and understanding the need to support us through class fees as we currently have
900 members and have had well over 27,000 visits to the center. We especially want to thank
our wonderful community foundations, Live Long & Prosper and Knossos Foundation, for their
financial contribution to our success.
We have not been without challenges though, as we sustained an increased in our monthly rent/
utilities to $4,710.42, an increase of almost $800/month; existing vendors increased their costs
20-30%, requiring us to operate over 54+ programs without the Program Coordinator position
filled, to meet our financial obligations. This has placed great stress on the 2 full-time staff
members (Caleb and I) as well as the remaining staff that work 10-20 hours/week each.
With 2 months remaining in the year, our forecast is that we will end 2023 with a deficit of
$34,000 or more. We had hoped to raise $77,000 in Individual Donations and at present have
only resourced a fraction of these funds. Staff has chosen to make a direct plea to our
members and community, for financial support through individual donations. Here is an
example as to what your donation will support through the remaining 2023 year:
$25 = 1.5 Community Dining lunches OR 3 fitness classes
$50 = 3.5 Community Dining lunches OR 2 Footcare Services
$100 = 1 Birthday lunch live entertainer OR 6 Bastyr appointments
Our cost for each meal served at lunch is $15/person but we promote a suggested donation of
$4/person and are only reimbursed at a rate of $2.75/person. As you see, we incur a $12.25
loss for each meal served. However, proper nutrition is critical for wellbeing, and we will
continue to provide this service. As we head into the Giving Season, we will not participate in
Give Big Tuesday but simply request that you mail/drop off your donation to us directly. Help us
keep your center vibrant and alive by donating today. Thank you for your continued support and
I’ll see you at the Center!

Theresa LaCroix, Executive Director

Letter from the Director: September-October 2023

Director’s Message

What a busy summer we have had, between working on grants and great participation in classes.  Thank you all for voting YES on Prop 1, the Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy (or VSHSL).  I’ve been asked how does it apply to our Senior Center now?  Here’s a very brief rundown of what will transpire at this point.  Grant applications for this funding will be released in October 2023 for all agencies that meet the criteria.  There are over 100 agencies in King County that will apply for a chunk of this funding.  As a Senior Center, we are required to join partnership with 2 other agencies, which will be called a HUB, and submit a joint grant.  The purpose of this is to utilize the funds more efficiently, by sharing resources.  For example, we have just hired a new Veterans Benefit Advisor, who will also work at the Ballard Senior Center and Lake City Senior Center, our new HUB partners for 2024 – 2027.  The other centers will pay her wages separately out of any funding allocated to them, but sharing her talents, reduces our time spent finding qualified individuals and it is more enticing to attract a part-time employee to 24 hours/week, rather than the 8 hours/week that we would offer.  Once we submit the grant, there will be a 2-4 month period of review by a selection committee, who will decide which agency receives money and how much.  Remember in 2019, we did not receive any funding and we went forth with a very active outcry to the county as 39 other centers received $250,000/year each of 3 years.  Due to the pressure, they then provided us $57,000/year for 2021, 2022, and 2023 out of the General County Budget.  I’ve attended countless meetings over the past 3 years, being very vocal regarding this grave error in VSHSL distribution of funds and continue to be vocal.  Northwest King County has a great champion in our court, as our King County councilmember, Rod Dembowski, has made it clear that we have rights to this funding as taxpayers.  In the next grant application, I’ll be requesting $250,000 to finance the following: a nurse 1 day/week, a Veterans Benefit Advisor 1 day/week, a Digital Coordinator 1.5 days/week, and a Mental Health Counselor   1 day/week.  The funds will also cover any electronic equipment we need and a new sound system for our Multi-Purpose Room.

Many of you know, the number of grants during Covid have ceased and we are struggling to find revenue sources that will provide a large sum of money.  Currently, we are less than $20,000 in the red so far this year, due to great fund raising by our board and staff. Our budget to operate over 65 programs free or low cost, is $720,000 in 2023.  I’m now turning to all of you for help.  During the next 4 months, we will be making our plea to our community and members, for individual donations and corporate donations.  We hope to raise $50,000 during this time and ask for your assistance.  Your donor gifts will be used for additional low cost or free, medical services, educational classes, wellness programs and fun congregate activities, through the remainder of 2023.  Please help us meet our financial obligations and move into the New Year debt free.  Thank you to those who have supported our work to date.  It’s such a pleasure to share our days with each of you and move through this stage of life, maintaining our hobbies and health.

Stay safe and see you at the Center!

Theresa LaCroix