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

September 2020 Directors Letter

Directors Letter
September 2020 – SVSC History

Happy 45th Anniversary to the Sno-Valley Senior Center!!! The Sno-Valley Senior Citizens (our
legal name) was incorporated on Sept. 1, 1975. Our specific purpose was “to participate in and work for the elderly in the Lower Snoqualmie Valley area, to eliminate areas of discrimination in all phases of life from which the elderly, and in particular the elderly poor suffer. This shall include but not limited to
projects to meet transportation, educational, charitable and entertainment needs of the elderly.”

We haven’t strayed from that mission in 45 years. As needs have grown in the valley, we’ve grown too. Now we
consistently serve over 1,000 people annually with an increasingly diverse menu of options for older adults to partake in.

I was the Center Director from March 2001 to August 2008 and March 2016 to now. In 2001, we had one Hyde Shuttle to bring people to the Center. Now we have two shuttles. One to go North to Duvall and one to go South to Fall City.

We had less programming then too because we had less space – only the back sitting room with laundry and the main hall. The remodel done around 2011 added five program rooms and restrooms on the second floor. That has vastly increased all the programs we can do simultaneously!

The ADH, Adult Day Health Program, was in the room across from reception. I still miss that program, but it cost the Senior Center around $70,000 annually which wasn’t sustainable. The resilient staff from that program created the Old Friends Club (an Adult Day Care) which meets at Tolt Congregational. I’m glad there’s still an option for caregivers in the Valley.

We had only four staff then: me, a ½ time bookkeeper (Alison McIntosh), a ½ time program coordinator (Kate Miller), and a cook to warm up pre-prepared meals delivered daily from Seattle. Now we have full time bookkeeper/Admin Asst. (Mindie Ribail), a 30-40 hr/week Program Coordinator (Kira Avery), a ½ time social worker (Kelly Fujiwara) and a 30 hr/week chef (Jennifer Berg) who cooks everything from scratch!

Back then, the little white house next to the parking lot was a rental providing a regular income. Then in 2009, a hard working group of volunteers made it into RIC (Re-In-Carnation) Thrift Store. Now RIC is located in the Senior Center because the little white house has structural problems. We hired a ½ time Thrift Store Manager (Angie Hartung). The board is working on a plan for RIC.

In 2019, we won a grant from the VSHSL levy to form a partnership with the Issaquah Senior Center and Mt. Si
Senior Center to increase our programming. This will also provide funds to reach out to caregivers, Hispanic, LGBTQ, and other older adults who could benefit from all the Senior Center offers. Val Stewart was hired as the Hub Coordinator to over see all this.

So you can see we’ve grown so much in the past 45 years from a small hobby club to a vibrant non-profit! There is so much to celebrate!

Will you help us celebrate our 45th Anniversary with a gift of $45 in honor of 45 years? Our goal is 100 people to give $45 for a total of $4,500 to help us continue to provide virtual and live programming during the pandemic. Help us stay strong for another 45 years! You can donate on-line at www.snovalleysenior.org or send a check with the envelope enclosed.

As always if you have any questions, complaints or compliments, I’m here. You can reach me at Lisay@soundgenerations.org or 425-333-4152.

Sno-Valley Senior Center History

A History of the Sno-Valley Senior Center by Marge Qualls

Once Upon A Time, in the early 1970’s, a hobby club was formed in the community for the enjoyment of elders during their retirement years. From this beginning, the Sno-Valley Senior Citizens (our legal name) was officially chartered September 1, 1975 as an independent organization, serving the lower Snoqualmie Valley. The group met in various locations throughout Carnation, including in its own original building which is currently the home of Hopelink.

In the mid 1980’s the Sno-Valley Seniors joined the United Way sponsored Senior Services of Seattle-King County (now known as Sound Generations), becoming one of several senior centers under that umbrella organization.

In 1992 the Sno-Valley Seniors took out a mortgage to purchase this building and many volunteers worked long hours to make it livable as our new official permanent home.

In the late 1990’s the adjoining property, including the parking lot and the small rental house, was added. Donations from supporters of the Center, affectionately known as “Friends Forever”, paid for this acquisition.

In 2000 the King County Council voted to give the Sno-Valley Seniors $57,000 to finish paying off the mortgage on this building. Finally, The Sno-Valley Senior Activity Center was really ours!

Built in 1925, this building was originally the Independent Order Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) Hall, and was also used as a meeting place for several other organizations. Subsequently, the building went through several diverse ownerships and uses in its history – as a furniture manufacturing plant, a dance hall, a skating rink and, now, the Sno-Valley Senior Activity Center!

Remember mention of the little rental house that was part of the purchase of the parking lot property in the late 1990’s. The Sno-Valley Seniors continued to rent the house to a family for several more years. Then, after some paid renovations, lots of hard work by volunteers, and donations from the community, that little house was opened in October of 2009 as “RE-IN-CARNATION”. Our popular and productive thrift store continues to receive donations to support our Activity Center and is operated by volunteers.

In 2011, King County grant monies initiated the remodel of the Sno-Valley Senior Activity Center building to create more space for classrooms, activities and services for a growing population of Snoqualmie Valley seniors. Among the building’s improvements was the restoration of the Main Room ceiling that had been removed many years earlier to accommodate some over-sized organ pipes installed in one of the building’s previous lives. Additional King County grants and donations from our supporters enabled completion of the building’s upgrades and amenities.

Serving Carnation, Duvall, Fall City, and surrounding areas, the Sno-Valley Senior Activity Center has become a hub of activity for seniors in the Snoqualmie Valley and, for the hundreds of volunteers of all ages who make this a warm and inviting place for all who gather here.

August 2020 Directors Letter

Directors Letter
August 2020 – COVID update

Community Power. Do you feel it?  I sure do!

It is local farmers bringing us produce for our lunches. It is neighbors bringing groceries to
neighbors. It is a friend taking a friend to the doctor and sitting in their car waiting. It is a team of people making face masks for the seniors. And it is people giving generously every month to the Senior Center.

That’s community power! I am especially grateful for the 30 people who donate every single month without fail. These recurring gifts give us a foundation that we can count on. It provides the Center some stability in these
uncertain times. It is a powerful way to make even more of a difference so we can keep serving meals daily and providing virtual activities. So thank you to these monthly donors. I salute you for your faithfulness. If you’d like to join this faithful cadre, just visit our website at https://snovalleysenior.org/ and you can make a one-time gift there or click monthly. Any amount helps. We have monthly gifts from $5 per month to $500 per month!

We so appreciate our monthly givers that we invite you to dinner in January along with our biggest donors and new Lifetime members. So you not only get rewarded by the difference you make but also enjoy a great meal and a slide show of the impact you’ve made. We depend on our monthly donors now more than ever as our costs for lunches delivered and to-go are higher. Costs are higher because to-go containers cost us about $700 per month.

So how is the Senior Center doing financially? We’re doing alright. We’ve gotten some grants. (In June Safeway Foundation gave us $10,000!) We also got a PPP payroll protection loan to see us through which is forgiven and doesn’t have to be paid back if we keep all of our staff on board. IF we have a good virtual auction on Oct. 17th, (our goal is $50,000) I predict we should end the year a little in the black or with a very small deficit. That is due in no small part to our donors who have really come through in big ways and small.

Our success is also due to a great volunteer corp. A huge thank you to Delores Ulrich and her family who have made strawberry shortcake for 20+ years for us on July 4th! She was assisted by her children and great grandchildren, Bobby Hinzman, Diane Amos and Denise Crutchfield. Together they made us $2,000 net with shortcake to-go!

I’m also grateful to Daniel Encisco of Legado Paints who recently painted our main hall where we serve lunch. I can’t wait for you all to see how clean and light it looks in white and brown. You’ll see it someday when we re-open (a little in phase 3 and completely in phase 4).  Daniel also served as one of spaghetti chefs with Maryann Coward and Jill Butler. They made some killer spaghetti! It was so popular that we ran out before the reserved dinners did so they whipped up some more on the fly! They were amazing. Spaghetti also made us about $2,000 net in to-go meals!

So how can we not be doing well with volunteers, supporters and a community like this! Thank you for being part of this amazing, wonderful place that is making a difference every day.

As always if you have any questions, complaints or compliments, I’m here. You can reach me at Lisay@soundgenerations.org or 425-333-4152.

Seniors Connected

Getting Older Adults Connected to the Internet

By Monique Carpentier

Video calling or connecting to the internet is fantastic, however getting the technology setup often becomes the roadblock or thought of as too overwhelming to those who don’t have a “smartphone”, a laptop/tablet/computer, or internet service. Cost may sometimes be a factor as well.  This article explains how I worked with my Aunt B to get access to video calling, weather, music, and a few other functions using an Alex Echo Show 8 (Echo Show).  This was my solution after looking at the options and her needs.

My Aunt B is 90 years young.  She has cable and a landline  She considers technology overwhelming, however she has been house bound since Covid19, and is completely isolated except for neighbors checking in on her and my weekly calls as I live out of state.  We decided to give technology a try, baby step style.

Getting Connected –  Wi-Fi(wireless signal) is needed to connect to the internet (used to video call).  I called her cable company, and found out that she needed a new modem.  We got that set up, keeping all the names as simple as possible and used my phone number as the passwords.  I got her the address where her Wi-Fi was going to come from to be used by Echo Show  She could take advantage of bundling (cable, landline, and internet) services.  She wasn’t concerned about speed of the connection.  Her price increase was under $20 a month.

Connectivity – Next, I needed to create her online identity which is what all her communications and accounts are tied to so that they will all be linked together.  I installed Google Chrome and Voice (google voice) for Androids on my cell phone then signed in to Gmail using her account that I had created, and then signed in and got her a phone number in voice.google.com (Voice).

In Voice, I set up a phone to forward the calls to Google Phone number – use Dialing/web phone features to landline  – go to Google Voice, enter in info, I needed an email account, and selected a phone number, and linked it to a phone number that I then needed to test. Aunt B will never use her email account or voicemail, so I deselected all the email options and voicemail options.  I only wanted the call forwarding options on the Web.  NOTE: For all the accounts setups, I linked the google phone number to my cell as the Voice app is needed to get confirmation texts.  Once all the set up was done and the Echo Show calling test is completed, I then changed the linked number from my cell to her phone – she got the call, called me with code and she validated it.  We were done. –

Then I will go to Amazon.com and create a new account, as Aunt B didn’t have one, so I used her Voice number as her account and future sign in.  I filled in the information.  Right now she isn’t interested in ordering from Amazon, so I left those options alone.

The Device –  I ordered an Alexa Echo Show 8, with no pre-configuration that was first sent to me.  I ordered via QVC in a special and is was under $100 with some trial subscriptions.  This has an 8 inch corner to corner touch screen, has a drop in call feature, video call  to other devices to receiving cell with Alexa app installed and a few more features.   The Alexa device may be too limited in functionality for some, but for Aunt B, she wanted voice managed weather, news, music, video calling, recipes and to not get overwhelmed, so we figured this was the best way to go.

I installed the Alexa App on my cell and signed in using her Amazon account, and added her Echo Show, went to contacts, and made sure that I hadn’t imported my contacts, and added the numbers she would want.  Going forward she can add them manually using the Echo Home.   I could also have access to her account via the Alex app if she wanted, so we could take advantage of more features later on.  In the Alex App there are instructions on how to do set up the Echo Show for loved ones and other tips.   I have listed below what will be needed to set up the Echo Show.

For Alexa Echo Show 8 setup you will need:

As outlined above – WiFi, Cell phone/Voice phone number, Email,  Amazon Account, Alexa App

For those to receive your calls, they will need the Alexa App or an Echo Show.  Permissions will need to be granted for drop in .  The Alexa app works on Android and Apple phones.

I turned on the Echo Show that I was sending her, and the start up program ran, I entered in her information.  I skipped the rest of the start information.  I went to the start screen and selected drop screen, entered the network and password, hit save and then shut down the device.  I packaged it up and sent it off to her.  Her world is slowing opening up.  Now to see what she thinks…..

It takes some work for a family member to set up but once it is set up, it is easy for the senior to use.  Let us know your experience trying to get an older adult connected to technology and the world!