NOVEMBER 2016 E-NEWS
It is a beautiful fall day. The leaves are just about gone from the trees and the weather is unseasonably warm for this time of year, but we are thankful, for in just a matter of weeks, Mother Nature will make her winter debut.
In writing this November letter, I find myself focusing on what this time of year is all about: being thankful. Each day, I make it a point to reflect on at least one thing that I am thankful for. While there are many things I am thankful for, first and foremost, is my family who without their support, none of what I do would be possible. I am also thankful for my friends, for the people that I work with, and for the opportunity to serve in an organization that, together, works to make a difference for others in our communities.
“Together”…that brings to mind an African Proverb: “if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far go together.” Having just completed the Chicago Marathon, I can attest to how true those words are, with over 40,000 runners running together indeed helped me to go farther and finish the race, beating my previous time by 10 minutes.
Those words not only are encouraging for me as a marathoner, but also as a part of NSCA, for it is together that our Senior Corps programs are able to go farther, for alone we are just one voice, but together we are many. Which is why I am excited to share that NSCA is partnering with Generation to Generation in their campaign to support and mobilize older adults in service. A partnership that is a win-win for all of our programs and the people we serve. Many voices together, advocating for our programs. Visit www.encore.og for more information.
Thankful to serve. Happy Thanksgiving.
by Alan Lopatin, Director NSCA Washington Advocate
With the November Presidential and Congressional Election next week, it pains me to report to those who may not have been following the campaign that the standard bearers have yet to become embroiled in a deep policy debate over the future of the Senior Corps. However, Secretary Clinton did deliver a National Service policy statement during a campaign stop in Fort Pierce, Florida. In her announcement, Secretary Clinton called for the creation of a new National Service Reserve that will expand ways for young Americans to serve their communities and their country. "The Reserve will provide a vehicle for the sense of civic ownership and responsibility that Clinton has felt throughout her life, bringing Americans from all backgrounds together in common cause to make a difference where they live.” Her commitment to senior service included no reference to the Senior Corps, but did include the following:
- Build on Older Americans Lifetime of Experience: Expand service opportunities for encore participants. Clinton wants to expand service opportunities for all Americans throughout their lives, with a special focus on people over age 55. To this end, as part of her AmeriCorps expansion, she will work to fulfill the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act Act goal of having 10 percent of AmeriCorps members be encore participants, which would create tens of thousands of new opportunities for Americans over age 55. She will also explore innovative models to allow older Americans to use the skills they have learned over a lifetime to improve their communities.
No word yet from the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.
On November 9th, the transition team for the next President moves into full gear. We will be in touch with the transition team through a variety of means and encourage you to encourage your elected representatives to reach out to the transition team on behalf of the Senior Corps and your volunteers. The week of November 14, Congress returns to Washington for the beginning of a lame duck session that will run through mid-December with a break for Thanksgiving. First item on the agenda: finishing the appropriations process for fiscal year 2017. The conventional wisdom in Washington, DC is that Congress will enact a series of "mini-buses" (bundled appropriations bills) between November 14 and the expiration of the current continuing resolution on December 9th. Funding for the Senior Corps, absent a surprise, should remain at fiscal year 2016 levels without reduction. The future will be determined by the next president AND YOU!
We encourage you to reach out to incumbents running for reelection, challengers, and all candidates to push the case for Senior Corps in the new administration. Your advocacy will be amplified by the work we do in Washington so that everyone wanting to serve will have the opportunity and every community will reap the benefit of our good work.
IN OTHER NEWS
As a member of NSCA, you are our best advocate! Please help us grow by sharing the membership experience with your colleagues. Tell them to visit our website www.nscatogether.org and look around, then click on the Member Signup tab on the left. Thanks for keeping us “Stronger Together”!
IN-SERVICE TRAINING IDEAS
NSCA is putting together a list of In-Service Training ideas to share with our membership and we need your help. If you have a topic that your volunteers love or have found especially helpful or even an annual calendar of training topics that you deliver, please email Erin Kruse at Erin.Kruse@nau.edu. We will compile this information and send out in an upcoming E-News as well as post on the website.
With November 8th quickly approaching, it is always a safe practice to remind FGP, SCP, and RSVP volunteers about CNCS policies regarding elections. Whether you mail them a memo or talk with them at in-service trainings, you should remind volunteers about prohibited activities such as providing voters or prospective voters with transportation to the polls or similar assistance in connection with any such election.
BOARD MEMBER HIGHLIGHT
Stacey Nicholas recently joined the NSCA Board as an RSVP Representative for the Southwest Cluster. She is a seasoned RSVP director whose territory covers seven counties in Northeast Missouri. Sponsored by Douglass Community Services (DCS), her RSVP volunteers focus on projects that fight food insecurity, as well as the VITA program and the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program. The DCS RSVP recently started a Reading Buddy program with low-achieving first graders. Meeting daily with first graders, volunteers are helping them learn site words, read sentences, and decode new words.
Nicholas is also an adjunct professor. She and her husband, Joe Coelho, have one adult daughter. When not managing the RSVP program, Nicholas keeps busy with her four schnauzers.
Recently Dear Abby responded to a woman longing for grandchildren of her own and suggested she look into the Foster Grandparent Program. Check out the article!