Annual report 2020
Click on the image at right to download our 2020 Annual Report (published May, 2021).
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
It is an honor writing my first annual report letter as Board Chair for the Foundation for Senior Wellbeing. While I have only served in this role for a few months, I am excited for what lies ahead.
Looking back on last year, I view 2020 as a year of challenge as well as opportunity for the Foundation. Our first challenge was trying to fill the amazing shoes of Rebecca Steiner, our Information Resource Center Program Manager Rebecca Steiner. Rebecca decided to retire from her position so that she could join the Board of Directors. While we were sad to see her leave her role, we were excited that Rebecca would be a part of the Board. We were also incredibly fortunate to meet Becky Noel who accepted the position of Program Coordinator and has since done an outstanding job.
Our next – and greatest – challenge was the COVID-19 pandemic. Our clientele was greatly affected as the pandemic unfolded, and we quickly realized that we needed to adapt our services to continue meeting their needs. Right away the Information Resource Center went virtual. Becky operated out of her home and continued to provide resources for our clients. Also going virtual was the Coffee Connection, a program we had started early in 2020 as an in-person opportunity for seniors to make new acquaintances and learn from guest speakers. Coffee Connection went on Zoom and found a new and broad audience, reaching some people as far away as the east coast. We continually hear from attendees how much they look forward to Coffee Connection each week.
The pandemic also forced us to cancel one of our fundraising events (Tribute to Traditions) and completely rethink the other (Festival of Trees). This too went virtual, and through some incredible planning and creativity raised even more money than the event in 2019.
None of these challenges could have been turned into opportunities without the leadership of our Executive Director Sarah Benson. Her hard work and dedication to our mission kept us moving forward and thriving, from applying for countless grants to creating new fundraising paths. We would not be where we are today without her.
2020 saw the retirement from the Board of Fritzi Gros-Daillon and the addition of Rebecca as well as Chris Orlando. Alison Driessen stepped down from her role as chair of the board, but we are grateful to still have her leadership as a continuing board member. While we are very sad to see Fritzi leave the Board, we are thrilled that she will continue to volunteer her time to serve the senior population in North County.
I am excited about what lies ahead for 2021 and beyond. While we still face challenges, the Foundation is well-positioned to meet them head-on and to create even more tremendous opportunities to serve our clientele. Thank you for your involvement and support.
WHAT WE DO
The Foundation for Senior Wellbeing links seniors, caregivers and their families to resources and services to improve seniors’ quality of life.
HOW WE DO IT
Staff and volunteers operate a Senior Information Resource Center that provides free support—both in-person and by phone—in the areas of:
• Housing • Home repair • Caregiver support • Transportation • Food/nutrition needs • Emergency and crisis assistance • Medical or mental health issues • Legal issues • and more
Our Senior Emergency Preparedness programs teach seniors what to do in the face of an emergency.
The Senior Crisis Fund directly impacts those seniors most in need of financial help.
Bingo at the San Marcos Senior Activity Center promotes social interaction and helps brain health.
Our Coffee Connection program is a weekly Zoom gathering for older adults to meet new friends, connect over shared personal experiences and discover tips about successful aging.
WHY WE DO IT
We provide compassionate support and advice for older adults, or their families, when they most need it. We hear from seniors every day that often can't find help or the resources they need elsewhere. The problems are complicated, and finding a solution takes hands-on guidance supported by patience, persistence and empathy. The Foundation is a lifeline for these clients and for their concerned family members.