Celebrating Volunteer Appreciation Month: Honoring Sound Generations Volunteers Steve Bombino & Susan Cady

Senior women laughing while sitting in the passenger seat of a car during a road trip with a friend

During Volunteer Appreciation Month, we take pride in recognizing the invaluable contributions of volunteers who are the heartbeat of Sound Generations, including two exceptional individuals, Steve Bombino, and Susan Cady, who have played pivotal roles in our Volunteer Transportation Services program.

Since November 2020, Steve and Susan have epitomized the spirit of volunteerism, embodying dedication, compassion, and unwavering commitment to supporting aging adults in our community. Steve, a devoted substitute teacher, emphasizes the flexibility and ease of volunteering, stating, “I can come and go when I please, with no guilt! I average one client per week, pending my work schedule.” He further reflects on his diverse experiences, affirming, “I have driven clients with different cultures, languages, and religions. I have never had a bad experience volunteering with Sound Generations Volunteer Transportation. I plan to give my time until I cannot drive any longer. I believe if more people knew how easy it was, they would volunteer too.”

Similarly, Susan, a retired engineer, underscores the profound impact of Volunteer Transportation on the lives of older adults, stating, “The seniors I drive are so grateful for the ride; this is a lifeline for seniors who are mobility challenged.” She further expresses her fulfillment by saying, “I enjoy putting good karma out there. I hope Volunteer Transportation is here when I need a ride to a medical appointment.”

Their stories serve as inspirations, highlighting the transformative power of volunteerism and the vital role Sound Generations Volunteer Transportation Services played in enhancing older adults’ well-being. As we honor Steve, Susan, and all our volunteers this month, we extend our deepest gratitude for their selfless contributions and unwavering dedication. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of older adults and embodying the true spirit of Volunteer Appreciation Month.

Empowering Women: Celebrating Contributions and Dedication

In the spirit of Women’s History Month, let’s delve into the remarkable achievements of older women who have broken barriers, set precedents, and inspired generations to come.

Wally Funk, a pioneering aviator, epitomizes this spirit as she achieved a lifelong dream by becoming the oldest woman to travel to space. Born in 1939, Funk’s passion for aviation drove her to overcome obstacles throughout her career. From earning her pilot’s license at a young age to becoming the first female Federal Aviation Administration inspector and instructor, Funk’s journey was marked by resilience and determination. In 1961, she was among the “Mercury 13,” a group of women who underwent testing as potential astronauts. Decades later, at 82, Funk joined Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin spaceflight, fulfilling her dream of space travel.

Wally Funk’s historic journey to space at the age of 82 serves as a powerful testament to the resilience and determination of women of all ages in pursuing their aspirations. From breaking barriers in aviation to inspiring future generations, Funk’s pioneering achievements exemplify the unwavering spirit of women who strive for greatness regardless of societal barriers or age.

Sound Generations extends our deepest appreciation to the older women we serve, whose remarkable contributions continue to shape our community. We also recognize the invaluable support provided by our dedicated female board members, staff and volunteers, who serve as integral pillars in our mission to partner with older adults to provide accessible and inclusive services.

From the pioneering achievements of women like Wally Funk to the everyday dedication of our staff, their unwavering commitment to making a difference inspires us all. If you would like to support our mission and empower older women in our community, please consider making a donation by clicking the button below.

Month of Random Acts of Kindness: Extend Kindness to Older Neighbors

As we celebrate Random Acts of Kindness month, let’s remember to reach out and check on our older neighbors, including those from the silent generation. This generation, born between 1928 and 1945, often embodies resilience and self-reliance, stemming from their experiences during challenging times like the Great Depression and World War II.

While their strength and independence are admirable, it’s essential to recognize that their experiences instilled in them a sense of stoicism and a reluctance to burden others with their needs, and as a result, they hesitate to ask for help, even when they need it most. As our client, Joe, shared, “If it wasn’t for you ladies and gentlemen, without your help, I don’t know what I’d do.” With assistance from Pathways, Joe received essential services like Minor Home Repair, ensuring his home was safe and functional. He expressed gratitude, saying, “[The Pathways Social Service Specialist] has been helping me out a lot, getting the hold of the right people.” Joe’s sentiment underscores the importance of offering support and kindness to older adults, regardless of their generation.

During this month dedicated to acts of kindness, let’s make an extra effort to reach out to our older neighbors. Simple gestures like a friendly check-in, offering assistance with errands, or sharing a warm conversation can brighten their day and make a meaningful difference in their lives.

By combining our focus on Random Acts of Kindness with our awareness of older adults’ tendencies and needs, we can create a more compassionate and inclusive community. Together, let’s spread kindness and support to all generations, ensuring everyone feels valued and cared for.

New Year, New Space: Update from the Lillian Rice Building

Welcome to a new year filled with exciting updates from the Lillian Rice Building, where your generosity has fueled transformative changes. Thanks to everyone who supported our 2023 Golden Gala building fund, we have started revitalizing our low-income senior housing units. Here is a glimpse into the remarkable progress we’ve made in creating a fresh and vibrant living environment for older adults:

  • Apartment Revitalization: Nine apartments have received new flooring, paint, two walk-in showers, upgraded appliances, and window coverings. Moreover, we have welcomed five new tenants to these upgraded spaces.  
  • Common Areas: Hallways on floors four through six now boast new flooring, with plans to continue improvements on floors seven and eight in 2024.  
  • Green Roof Project: In our pursuit of holistic well-being, we’ve initiated the installation of raised garden beds on the roof. Currently, seven beds are thriving, with seven more set to be added this spring. Tenants are enjoying cultivating their own produce and herbs.
  • Exterior Updates: The building faced graffiti challenges on multiple fronts, with markings spanning the back, sides, and even some on the front. Collaborating with community groups, we successfully covered the graffiti on the back and removed it from the front. The north side above the 2nd floor underwent a thorough power washing, while regular painting maintenance ensures the ground level maintains its visual appeal.
  • LED Lighting: A sustainability push includes replacing lights on floors four through eight. Enhanced safety measures include new LED exit lights with reliable battery backups.

Your continued support remains instrumental in creating positive living environments for the residents of the Lillian Rice Building. Together, we’re shaping a brighter future for our community. 

Your generosity made these changes possible!  

 

Meals on Wheels – Combating Food Insecurity and Loneliness This Holiday Season

Ken, an older white man in a stripped shirt, stands outside holding a bag full of meals

As we embrace the festive spirit of the holiday season, it’s crucial to acknowledge the challenges faced by members of our community, especially during times of unprecedented demand. This month, we’re bringing attention to a pressing issue affecting many—food insecurity and loneliness among the elderly. 

Currently, Meals On Wheels is confronted with a waitlist of over 900 people, underscoring the escalating need for community support.  

In the spirit of giving, this holiday season, let’s unite in making a meaningful impact on the lives of our aging neighbors.

Your support has the power to transform a solitary day into one brimming with nourishment and companionship. 

Discover more about our Meals on Wheels program, exploring the profound impact of this initiative in addressing the dual challenges of food insecurity and loneliness. Together, we can make this holiday season brighter for those in need. 

Celebrating National Family Caregiver Month – Honoring Unsung Heroes 🌟

Three people stand behind a desk with the Sound Generations logo on it

$600 billion

Money can’t buy the kind of care that family caregivers devote to their loved ones, from driving to appointments to managing medical claims to providing hands-on assistance. But if it could, a study by AARP notes that unpaid caregiving was valued at $600 billion in 2021. “Family caregivers are a scarce resource and should be protected and supported,” says Susan Reinhard of AARP. “If they walked off the job, we’d be $600 billion short.”

Who are these unsung heroes? How can we help them?

These are the questions that Caregiver Advocates like Kristen McFadden ask themselves. Kristen started working at Sound Generations in the Pathways Information & Assistance program and now works as a Caregiver Advocate in the Sound Generations’ Caregiver Support program. While singing the praises of both programs, Kristen especially loves being a Caregiver Advocate because it is less crisis-oriented; not only can she relax a bit more when talking to people, but she can help caregivers take a moment just to breathe and think.

Kristen feels grateful every time a busy caregiver takes the time to talk. She always asks about the challenges they are facing and how the Sound Generations team might be able to help. Kristen sees Sound Generations’ wraparound services as life changing. And that’s not program rhetoric; it was shared by at least one recent caregiver she worked with, who was connected to a helpful workshop, legal support, and respite services that provided her a few hours break from caregiving.

Despite the life-changing impact of wraparound services, Kristen notes that “just listening is the main thing,” which the other caregivers warmly agree with. Kristen also emphasizes her awe of her “impressive and inspiring” team members. Together, they work to remind caregivers that they matter and that we must take care of ourselves in order to care for others.

The Caregiving team currently has a backlog of 30-40 caregivers waiting to talk to advocates and/or receive counseling. These folks are willing to wait because the caregiver team doesn’t just provide referrals but will push to find ways to connect them to more services and do whatever they can to improve their caregiving journey.

Decluttering Delight: Transforming Spaces, Transforming Lives

Our Decluttering Program aims to support older adults in optimizing their indoor and outdoor living environments for improved accessibility and mobility. The program adopts a mindful approach and helps our older neighbors thoughtfully organize their accumulated belongings over the years, prioritizing the preservation of cherished items and ensuring their comfort and convenience in both their homes and yards.

a woman in a bright blue shirt stands in the midst of a brightly lit room surrounded by clothes.

The program’s success has led to an overflow of requests and a waitlist, showcasing the vital impact of this service. To keep the momentum going, we’re seeking your support to ensure that this transformative project continues to bring clarity and calm to even more lives.

Your Support Matters:  Join us in creating accessible, comfortable living spaces for older adults in our community