December 2016 e-News
Wow, where did 2016 go? It is hard to believe that it is December and my term as President began just a mere five months ago. Time really does fly. Much has happened in those five months, most recently the 2016 election. It is certain that change is coming and while we do not yet know the impact of that change there are some steps we can take to prepare for the future. It is imperative that we, as Senior Corps, come together for the betterment of our programs. If you know someone who isn’t yet a member of NSCA, encourage them to join…we are stronger together.
Now is also the time to contact your legislators: welcome any newly elected Congressional freshman, offer congratulations to those who faced re-election and won, and say hello to the rest who are returning. Reach out to them and let them know the importance of and the impact your program has in the communities they represent. Education is the key. The more they hear about us, the better they get to know us and the great things we do. Remember, we are permitted to educate our legislators, not lobby.
Many of you have already received information regarding the cluster conferences for 2017 in your regions. Attendance at the conferences provides a great opportunity to come together with your peers to learn and share with each other. Consider being a presenter; requests for proposals have gone out and are due December 21st. More information is included in this e-News.
As you may recall from the previous e-News, NSCA is proud to partner with Encore.org in their campaign to bring generations together, mobilizing adults to help young people thrive. The initiative was launched on November 17th. Visit the website: generationtogeneration.org to learn more about this exciting partnership and how your project may be able to participate.
As we end 2016 and begin 2017, thanks to all of you for your service. Enjoy the holiday season and may the New Year bring you joy, peace, and good health.
by Alan Lopatin, Director NSCA Washington Office
With a renewed Republican majority and a Republican in the White House on January 20, 2017, Republican Congressional Leaders were putting the finishing touches on a Continuing Resolution to fund federal programs, projects, and activities into the Trump Administration. Congressional appropriators will take another look at fiscal year 2017 funding before closing the books on the fiscal year already underway. What this may mean for Senior Corps and the other CNCS programs is not clear.
As of this writing, no news has been shared about who will head up the CNCS Transition Team. But CNCS does not stand alone in this regard; many other agencies are also awaiting news. Have no fear! That is where you come in!-
NSCA members and Senior Corps advocates are advised (no, make that "implored") to reach out to your Members of Congress (House and Senate) and familiarize them with your programs and the work you do in their districts (where it counts). Elected officials, including the President-elect, need to be educated about the value (and structure of federal support) of senior volunteer service.
INFORM! The work you do over the next few months could set the stage for the future, possibly even expansion. There are nearly FIVE DOZEN new members of the House and Senate who may know nothing of Senior Corps (be specific about FGP, SCP, and RSVP) and the difference your volunteers make in hometown communities.
And if your Congressman or Senator wants to be a champion for Senior Corps, let me know firstname.lastname@example.org and I will provide them (and their staff) with facts, figures, and strategies of how to help.
Other Legislative Resources/Information:
Senate Passes Stop Gap Funding Bill, Averting Shutdown
115th Congress, House of Representatives 2017 Calendar
IN-SERVICE TRAINING IDEAS
Thanks to several of our members who responded to our call for In-Service Training ideas. We have compiled these suggestions and created a pdf which is also saved in the Documents folder. We hope you find these ideas and suggestions helpful.
2017 NATIONAL SERVICE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES
The dates and locations for the 2017 National Service Training Events have been announced and we are pleased to share them with you:
- Southern National Service Training Conference, March 27-29 in Orlando, FL
- North Central National Service Training Conference, May 8-10 in Columbus, OH
- Southwest National Service Training Conference, May 22-24 in Phoenix, AZ
- Atlantic National Service Training Conference, June 4-7 in Baltimore, MD
The conference organizers are calling for presenters and keynote speakers. Check out this link for more information. The deadline to submit a proposal is December 21st.
Maria E. ReQua recently joined the NSCA Board as the Foster Grand Program Representative for the Southwest Cluster. Maria is the FGP Director under the sponsorship of the City of Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs. She brings with her nearly twelve years of experience in Senior Corps Programs management in both nonprofit and local government sectors in rural northern NM and in the Albuquerque metro area.
In addition, she serves on the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Community Alliance and the planning committee for the annual End New Mexico Hunger Summit. Through the NM Aging and Long Term Services Department, she serves as a Health Insurance Benefits Assistance Corps volunteer helping seniors apply for assistance with housing, food, medical, and prescription programs.
Maria is the mother of two and has been happily married for over twenty years. Determined to instill the importance of national service in her children, Maria engages them in volunteering on weekends by collecting donations of durable medical equipment for low-income individuals in need.
Maria is dedicated to advocating for senior volunteers and will continue to work diligently to preserve the original intent of the Senior Corps programs, which is the benefit to the senior volunteers.
FGP/RSVP/SCP: The new CNCS handbooks include Guidance on Recognition Costs in the appendix. The guidance reads that Holiday or Christmas gifts are not acceptable forms of recognition. If you hold a winter/holiday recognition event and provide volunteer gifts, ensure that the gifts are based on the volunteers’ service and are contributed by donors or by your advisory council. Programs might also consider scheduling recognition events at other times of the year such as in May for Older American’s Month and/or Senior Corps week. The guidance also reads that guests are not permitted to be paid for from federal or non-federal match. If guests are invited, have a sign in sheet and pay for guests from excess funds or contributions not counted towards match.
When the time comes to purchase recognition items, buying gift items through one of NSCA’s longtime supporters, Kaeser & Blair representative Carolyn Leach. Check out the website www.KBBestBuys.com or call her directly at 315-331-1135.
Each of the Senior Corps Programs has its own committee comprised of cluster representatives from the 5 CNCS clusters: Atlantic, North Central, Pacific, Southern, and Southwest. For the past year Jennifer Halberg has served as Chairperson for the RSVP committee and has done a tremendous job. She is transitioning leadership of this committee (while remaining on the NSCA Board) to her fellow Minnesotan, Donna Whitcomb. Donna Whitcomb joins Donna Teel (FGP) and Pamela Carre (SCP) as the committee chairs. We thank all three of them, and Jennifer as well, for their commitment and service to the Senior Corps Programs.