Saying thank you hardly seems like enough. Much of the work of the Friends goes unnoticed. The Friends of Marlborough Seniors organization is an independent charity that serves as the principal fundraising arm for the Senior Center. We are a separate and distinct entity from the City of Marlborough and the Council on Aging, and we receive no funding from the City or the Council on Aging.
Our function is to support the services and programs offered to Marlborough’s seniors. Sometimes this support takes the form of equipment purchases. In other instances we are asked to provide funding for specific programs, or deliver emergency assistance. Some of our work involves providing the volunteer hours that are necessary to make sure that functions and programs run smoothly. None of what we have been able to provide would have been possible without the generosity of our members, individual donors, corporate donors, and charitable organizations who have supplied grant funding.
I would like to take this opportunity to share what the generosity of our donors has provided.
- We have been able to provide tens of thousands of dollars toward the purchase of furnishings and equipment for the Senior Center, and have been able to offset the cost of services offered at the Senor Center.
- Through a combination of grants and private donations, we were able to purchase nearly $40,000.00 in furnishings and equipment for the Senior Center including computer equipment, fitness equipment, and the furnishings for the billiard room.
- In addition to major purchases and program funding, we also sponsor the monthly newsletter at a cost of approximately $4,000.00 each year, and provide all of the paper goods and supplies for functions at the Senior Center.
- Due to the generosity of our donors, we were also able to provide transportation services, and emergency food assistance for elders at risk.
Again, saying thank you to the generous donors who have made our work possible hardly seems like enough. The generosity that I have seen in my time as president is truly astonishing.
We work diligently to be good stewards of the donations that have been entrusted to our care. We make every effort to operate as efficiently as possible. Unlike many charitable organizations, our administrative costs are exceptionally low. All of our dedicated board members volunteer their time and talents as a way to give back to the senior community that we serve. We have a very accomplished mix of retirees, business owners, elder service specialists, and individuals from varied backgrounds, who serve because they care about their community. Aside from typical office supply vendors, we have only three paid entities: the Board’s accountant, bookkeeper, and a project based grant writer/planner.
With that background, I have some important news to share. As we look back at what we have been able to accomplish, we are also planning for the future. There are many remaining needs that must be addressed. Our work did not end with the ribbon cutting. We would like to continue to provide our current level of assistance, while doing what we can to increase transportation services, improve outreach programs for elders at risk, enhance health and wellness education programs, and sponsor nutritional programs to help elders comply with medically prescribed diets. Volunteers and good intentions alone cannot provide for the programs, services and equipment that we hope to help make available.
We are now focusing on our future fundraising efforts. We have developed a comprehensive fundraising plan that has already produced results. Our major fundraising event will take place in March of 2016. The good news is that no one needs to come to the event for the event to be a success. In fact, the more people who buy tickets and don’t show up, the better. Unlike other charitable fundraisers, restaurants will not be asked to donate food, and we won’t be expecting anyone to wear their formal attire. We hope that everyone who reads this column will buy a ticket, but will decide not to come to the event. That will put you in good company because our event is a no-show event. There will be more news on this event to follow.
Finally, for our future plans to be successful, the Friends of Marlborough Seniors Board is in need of volunteers to help with planning and spreading the word about our fundraising event. Please contact any member of the Board if you are interested in volunteering.
Sean Nicholas Fay, Esq.
President, Friends of Marlborough Seniors