Article By:  Senior Companion Program Director Amanda Hodgens

Newsletter   |   May 17, 2021

The Senior Companion Program is definitely operating during its busiest time of the year! We have submitted two grants within the last couple of months, completed several major reports, and even planned for the annual volunteer recognition that will take place next month!  

Recently, SCP submitted a grant application requesting $9,000.00 to Tri-County United Way. This was the first time in the programs existence and applying through United Way that we were awarded what we had requested! This was most definitely shocking as you rarely get what you ask for from any agency in which you are applying for funding. We couldn’t be more excited and thankful that United Way supports and believes in our mission so strongly! We will keep our commitment in making sure we excel and achieve in the performance measurements as well as carrying out the services we promised in our current work plans!

The Senior Companion Program also submitted their federal grant to the Corporation for National and Community Service in March, requesting $241,1432.00 to operate the program. The grant application is currently awaiting for the grant officer’s approval. If approved, the program will be operating in its first year of a 3-year grant cycle. Notice of grant awards will be announced by the end of the month.  

Client updates, volunteer evaluations, and income reviews are all being conducted at this time. Everyone is doing an awesome job in fulfilling the program’s mission and is currently income eligible to serve. Of the client surveys completed, each have stated that themselves and their families were extremely satisfied with our services and the vitality of the program. This is certainly reassuring to know that the Senior Companion Program is definitely making positive impacts within the communities it serves.  

Due to COVID, it was extremely challenging to conduct the mandated annual reviews. An allowance has been in effect since March 16, 2020, and will extend through September 30, 2021, that allows the volunteers to still receive their regular stipend checks for hours volunteered. At this time, we are still carrying out the true meaning of the Senior Companion Program and providing companionship to so many isolated seniors by making daily welfare checks to all of our clients over the telephone and through FaceTime calls. We are currently working to plan and implement the most effective ways in practicing safe volunteering and social distancing while serving our clients when our volunteers return full-time!  

The “Annual Volunteer Recognition” of course will be a lot different than usual due to COVID. Stay tuned, we will be sure to share the details and pictures in our next newsletter!

The Senior Companion Program has lost another dedicated volunteer and vital asset to the program. It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that we report, Ms. Elizabeth Wells, our Volunteer Leader in Hardin County passed away on Sunday morning, May 2, 2021, with all of her children by her side. She was such a beautiful soul and would brighten any room she walked into! We loved and respected her personality and her ability to never meet a stranger. We will definitely miss her hard work and dedication and we couldn’t be more grateful to have volunteered with Liz. We were all definitely blessed by her presence and it was such an honor to have known her. We will never forget her, as she touched everyone’s heart that crossed her path!