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!