Carmen Rideout

A number of Sheridanites have asked me how the Sheridan Senior Center is doing? Surely we must be okay because there is so much is activity at the Center; it seems so busy and we are all still smiling! In addition we completed a very successful fundraising campaign a year ago so we must be set for a while, right? 

Yes – there is a lot happening. As you know we are open every day of the year and we are truly serving older adults and families of multiple generations. The demand for our services is growing and there are many opportunities for development of existing and new services.

Yes – we have had tremendous support from the community throughout our Celebrating Generations and Building Community Campaign. The $9.5M raised came from federal and state grants and an amazing array of generous Sheridan individual donors and foundations. We are grateful for every gift from $1 – $1M. These funds have been raised and pledged over a five year period.

 Yes – we too have been negatively affected by the state budget cuts. Grant awards from State and local sources are 4% or $130,000 less than what we were awarded this year. This will be challenging. We operate on a very narrow margin. There is not much we can cut on the expenses side of things without cutting back on services.

How do we increase our income and continue to serve those most in need? Our grants and funding sources are such that we only get what we spend and there is little opportunity for growth. Our customers make payments and contributions to the cost of their services however many are on a fixed and limited income. How can Sheridan continue to support the Center as the vibrant hub of service for older people and their families?

1.        If you are already eating with us, don’t let our new construction October 2016 through August 2017 stop you and if you are over 60 and want to start eating with us, please come down. This will help us maintain revenues as usual. For example the funds we receive for our meals is based on the how many meals we serve. If we serve less meals, we receive less dollars.

2.        Continue to give. Your contributions of dollars (from $1-1M) really do make a difference. Our Celebrating Generations and Building Community Campaign is over however we depend annually on gifts throughout the year from individuals and foundations through specific grants, memorials, and the holiday spirit and operation independence campaigns. These dollars truly set us apart from so many other centers.

3.        Shop and Drop at Green Boomerang Thrift Store on Main Street. Donations of gently used and re-sellable items are greatly appreciated. We have been able to keep our expenses at the store minimal due to our fabulous volunteers who work in the store and the wonderful donated space we occupy. The dollars earned from sales at the store are used to serve people in need.

4.        Volunteer your time. We have a staff of 93 full and part time employees. If did not have the volunteer force we have, there is no way possible we could serve the 2,500 people we do currently. Over 600 volunteers help us in so many ways and this something we will need more of this year and in the future to provide services to a growing number of people growing older in our communities. Help us serve.  Share your skills, talents, and time.

Yes – despite all the good things happening and the positive can do attitude we still need your support! Thank you Sheridan!