February 2021 FESH Letter

Letter from the FESH

Hello. It has been one year since I have been in my current role as the Far East Senior Hub Program
Coordinator for Snoqualmie Valley, Mt. Si and Issaquah Senior Centers. Funded by the Veterans, Seniors & Human Services Levy I am happy to share with you some of our successes and a few of our challenges found within our first year working as a HUB.

Initially, the HUB was formed between the centers because we all share a common thread — we are geographically located in the Far East King County. Within this area we face challenges of being further away from the center of King County, therefore lacking the equal opportunity of services provided to other Seattle or Eastside Senior Centers. As a HUB, we share excitement to work together to provide services to YOU, our FESH senior population.

Part of my job is to partner with other VSHSL funded organizations to bring services to new underserved senior
populations like the Hispanic Speaking, LGBTQ+, East Indian, and Isolated Seniors, as well as Grandparents Raising Grandkids. This new programing scheduled to launch in 2020 was to bring in a variety of programming for a more diverse populace. Sounds fun doesn’t it? Well, then COVID hit!

Everyone, including our partner organizations, were affected: SeaMar was going to provide translation for our
Hispanic/Latino community, GenPride was going to bring in inclusive programming to our centers and IAWW was going to provide culturally diverse programming for our East Asian friends. Because these organizations had to deal with their own challenges, we had to change direction and get creative with an online program plan offering these fun activities!

Make New Friends Across the Miles is a fun partnership with YMCA of Greater Houston that meets monthly to share stories, sing songs, tell jokes, and just take some time to connect and laugh a little. We meet the third Wednesday of EVERY month. Please join us!

Let’s Grow Together was a joint effort to work with our partner organizations to share online program offerings. Zoom presentations were held biweekly from Encompass, GenPride and IAWW as well as a very important Racial Equity Conversation. Look forward to continuing this programming in 2021.

WATAP offered three different webinars with information on Medication Management, Adaptive Gardening and Low-Tech Solutions to help with mobility challenges. They were all well attended. They will be doing more with us this year.

Music Across the Miles is a non-profit located in Nashville. We partnered for some sing-a-longs. It was great to
connect with Seniors from all over the nation in a musically uplifting experience.

In 2021 we are looking forward to resuming our plans to continue to work and grow with our partners. We will be conducing Focus Groups to improve programming at the centers so you get what you need from us. We have a
training coming up with Gen Pride to plan and begin programming for our LGBTQ+ Seniors. We have an Equity and Inclusion training for Staff, Board and Volunteers with Be Culture, and continued Kinship Support with Encompass. We are also in talks with Mobile Senior Health to get more healthcare services in our Senior Centers.

I look forward to seeing you in person in 2021 and really making Sno-Valley, Mt Si and Issaquah Senior Centers
everything they can be for YOU!

Thank you.

Valerie Stewart

January 2021 Directors Letter

I’m 62 years old so I’m one of those older adults the governor says should shelter in place. I try to be careful – wear a mask, keep 6’ distance and wash my hands a lot. But I have to come to work so we can get out meals to people and do all the other work it takes to run a senior center.

The research says Covid 19 has impacted older adults more than any other population. It isolates and diminishes. I don’t know about you but it’s hard and downright depressing sometimes. Life is so different and much of what I really enjoy is temporarily denied.

I’ve been reading research on the impacts of social isolation. I learned social isolation leads to:

  • Isolation has increased risk of mortality (as result of less of a network of confidantes to encourage prompt
    medical attention when needed).
  • Loneliness negatively affects both physical and mental health.
  • Loneliness contributes to cognitive decline and risk of dementia. We’re hard wired to be social creatures so when that need isn’t met there are impacts
  • Social isolation makes seniors more vulnerable to scams and elder abuse.
  • LGBTQ seniors are much more likely to be socially isolated as they are less likely to have children or are estranged from families.
  • Social isolation is linked to higher engagement in unhealthy behaviors
  • Loneliness is a major risk factor for depression and pessimism about the future.
  • Loneliness causes high blood pressure along with many chronic diseases.

That’s not very cheerful news. But I was researching so I know what to do to help myself and all of you. Here’s
what we can do to live better during Covid.

  • Connection and friendship is key. So call your friends and keep contact. Join our penpal program local teens have started. (Teens are having a hard time with Covid too.) And come to the zoom continental café to chat and laugh. (We can show you how to zoom or you can just call in.)
  • Brain Fitness is important. We are offering zoom classes on a myriad of topics plus a weekly brain fitness class. Puzzles and information are included with every meal. Jigsaw puzzles are available at the Center to
    borrow. Painting supplies are provided for pick up at lunch and classes offered on Zoom. So keep your brain active!
  • Physical Fitness is important and offered through zoom yoga and Move It Monday classes. We have some print outs of exercises you can do at home if you like too!
  • Nutrition: Our hot made from scratch meals are famous and only a $5 donation so try it out for a change of pace. I always look forward to seeing what deliciousness Jennifer created. I never miss a meal (which my snug pants remind me!)
  • Mental Health: The Social Worker, Kelly, provides 3 support groups: Grief for widows and widowers, Family Caregiver Support and Kinship for Grandparents raising Grandkids. She provides one on one counseling plus information and referrals. She can provide volunteers to assist with transportation to the doctor, pharmacy or grocery store. She also has volunteers to help with minor home repair. Anything to make shelter in place more bearable!

So take care of yourself, because we can’t wait to see you when this is over!

Lisa Yeager, Director, Lisay@soundgenerations.org
425-333-4152

December 2020 Directors Letter

You get this newsletter because you are a member. You are a member because you care about the senior center.  As a member you get a voice and a vote, so look for a ballot for our board of directors in the mail in December.  You also get a voice in our bylaws. The board has been working hard on
updating our bylaws.

On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at 1:30 p.m. we will have our annual meeting virtually by zoom. But you can always call in to participate.  More information about bylaw changes will be coming to you but it will be explained more fully at the meeting.  We’ll e-mail out the zoom link, but you can also call in at 253 215 8782. The Meeting ID: 425 333 4152 and Passcode: 1234 (mute yourself with *6).  There are no substantial changes to member’s rights or privileges but more clarification of board committees and meeting frequency.

It’s no secret that this has been a challenging time.  The Senior Center suddenly lost revenue from most of our
fundraisers, programs, facility rentals and the thrift store.  We lost over half of our revenue.  But we were able to get $110,00 in grants!  Grants came from Safeway, Fred Meyer and Albertsons. Also the Seattle Foundation and 4 Culture. We got a PPP loan to help with staff salaries and we got Cares Act money through King County, plus the cities of Duvall and Carnation.  I’m so grateful.

But we are especially dependent on our individual donors like you.  Donors have given $88,000 so far! That’s a
record!  But I need another $20,000 to get us to the end of the year. You got a letter in November inviting you to give, so if you are able I hope you will. But whether you give or not, we are here for you ALWAYS!  You are the
reason we exist. Our joy is to inspire, support and empower you (and ourselves) to lead healthy, enriched lives.  We’re a team getting through life together.

Several people have told me they’d like to sponsor a lunch. And that’s awesome! But I want you to know how it works.  We receive $3.50 for each person who signs in and gets lunch from a federal program through Aging and
Disability Services. That money pays for the food.  The $5.00 donation that you give goes to Sound Generations to pay for Chef Jennifer’s salary, federal reporting and a nutritionist.

When we say a lunch was sponsored by someone, it means they helped pay for some of the food costs.  Now we average over 60 meals a day. So that is one route to support the senior center and I love it!

But sometimes a person wants to buy lunch for everyone, so we tell them how many people we are expecting times $5 so it’s a free lunch for all!

So if you wish to make a designated sponsorship toward our meal program then it’s $100 to sponsor the food, OR $350 to buy lunch for everyone OR $750 to buy lunch for everyone for a birthday lunch.

But remember lunch is a donation so if anyone ever feels like they can’t afford it, we can cover that cost through some scholarships that donors have purchased.   So anyone can get a free meal anytime! No questions asked.

Meals cards are an awesome way to directly support a senior in need or it’s a great Christmas gift! Meal cards are $50 for 10 lunches.  Since we can’t go out to eat right now, that would be an awesome holiday gift for a friend.  Memberships are also a great gift for a friend.  So these are great ways to make a difference, give a lovely gift and support the Senior Center.

Thank you for being part of this wonderful place.

Lisa Yeager, 425-333-4152, Lisay@soundgenerations.org

November 2020 Directors Letter

Directors November Letter

Thank you so much to all those who attended our first ever virtual auction gala! What a wonderful night! Thanks to your support, we raised over $26,000 after expenses. A big part of the success were those who attended, those who donated items, and those who “raised their virtual auction paddle” to raise funds for us. Thank you!

We really appreciate the committee who helped plan this event: Julia Ruud, Mairi Brooks, Mari
Roberts, Miranda Bartos, Roberta Epps, Val Stewart, Jill Butler and Kira Avery. We got lots of
support from our auctioneer, Stephen Kilbreath of Kilbreath Auctions and tech support from Brian Hurley of Advanza.

We are incredibly grateful to our sponsors for their support. Their generosity was integral to the
success of the event!

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Presenting Sponsor
Law Office of Gerald Sprute-Estate Planning & Elder Law

Diamond Sponsor
Costume Contest Sponsor! Linnerooth
Walder Team Realtors– Duvall
Isaaquah Cedar and Lumber

Ruby Sponsor
Snoqualmie Hospital

Emerald Sponsors
Benjamin Asphalt
Duvall Advanced Family Eyecare
Environmental Works

Gold Sponsors
Danny Edwards with Edward Jones
Carol Kautz
Carnation Storage/ Tolt Laundry
Duvall Natural Health
Metcalf Chiropractic Health Center
Sno Falls Credit Union
Aegis Living Issaquah

October 2020 Directors Letter

October 2020 Directors Letter

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” – Leo Buscaglio

The Riverview School District set a motto of “Grace, Gratitude and Hope” for the year. It’s a good one. I know that Sno-Valley Senior Center needs lots of grace to figure out how to do a virtual senior center and grace with each other as we navigate these uncertain waters. But I am also filled with gratitude for the generosity and kindness of so many. It gives me hope for the coming days as we continue to deal with COVID, fires, and the challenges of life.

I am grateful for a recent grant with “Harvest Against Hunger”. This is a program where we get $2,500 to buy fresh produce for our lunches directly from our local farmers like Carnation Farms and Oxbow Farm. It’s such a lovely win/win. I’m excited to have such fresh produce to serve! Come try it out!

I’m also grateful for a grant of $20,000 from the city of Duvall to provide mental health counseling and emotional support to older adults. This is a challenging time, more so for some than others. Our amazing social worker, Kelly Fujiwara, is providing one on one support to many plus many support groups for family caregivers, grief, and Kinship (grandparents raising grandchildren).

I’m grateful to Angie and the Re-In-Carnation volunteers who put together an amazing garage sale in September. It raised $2,500! Well done! Thank you to attendees too!

There’s a lot happening in the world right now and lots to discuss with all that is happening in the news. Our Levy
Coordinator, Val Stewart, is leading “We’re all in this Together: Conversations that Matter”. The first topic on Sept. 29 was a discussion on racial justice and equality. This is an opportunity to thoughtfully consider many points of view – not a rant session. This will continue on the last Tuesday of the month. I encourage you to join it and share your perspectives. GenPride will be presenting on Tuesday, Oct. 27th at 10:00 a.m.

On a related note, Rotary dedicated a peace pole at the Sno-Valley Senior Center. You will see the words “Let Peace Prevail on Earth” on the post by the entrance to the senior center. It is in four languages – English, Norwegian, Spanish and Chinese Mandarin.  The dedication was on World Peace Day Sept. 21!

Finally, you will find enclosed in our newsletter a survey. We are required to do this survey by King County. The reason is that people who donate to the Sno-Valley Senior Center want to know what they got for their money! They want to know if they are making any difference. So now it’s your turn to let us know if you feel we have improved your life in anyway. Are we living up to our mission to inspire, support, and empower seniors to lead healthy, enriched lives? We don’t know unless you tell us.

The surveys are anonymous but if you put your name on it, we’ll enter you into a drawing for a $50 VISA card. But don’t worry, your name is not attached to the results we send to King County or funders. It is aggregated (for example 97% of people think we are awesome!)  So filling out a survey is an easy way to get us money without actually having to write a check. The survey results = money from grants and funders. So thank you in advance!

Grace. Gratitude. Hope. These are good words to live by.  Thank you for
giving me so much grace, reasons to be grateful and hope for the future. Contact me anytime with questions or concerns.

Lisa Yeager, 425-333-4152, Lisay@soundgenerations.org