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Archive for November, 2013

Here Comes The Boom

If you follow the news, you’re probably aware that the nation is aging… Rapidly. The statistics are out there and they’re startling.

According to the Federal Administration on Aging, in just 30 years the nation’s population of those 65 and older will double. Pair that fact with these statistics and a critical need, and an opportunity, starts to emerge –

  • According to a recent AARP housing survey, “83% of older Americans want to stay in their current homes for the rest of their lives,” but other studies show that most homes are not designed to accommodate the needs of people over age 65.
  • Most older people live in homes that are more than 20 years old.
  • Research by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that home modifications and repairs may prevent 30% to 50% of all home accidents among seniors, including falls that take place in these older homes.

And did you know that over 82.7 percent of Americans 70 – 74 own their homes? In fact, all age groups over 65 have a home ownership percentage over 80%!1

Ms. Ingram's Christmas BlessingSo, what’s it all mean? Well, for one thing, older Americans are going to need help maintaining their houses and making them accessible. Their homes, which tend to be older, are going to need repairs more frequently to keep them safe. And accessibility updates will keep them independent and in their homes longer.

We have an opportunity to love and honor our parents, grandparents, mentors and friends by helping them with their home repairs and accessibility needs. And this community outreach could be coming to you! What an opportunity for your church to show and share the love of Christ to those in need in a very practical way!

Not sure where to start? We have materials to help churches of all sizes and stages get a team started, or to grow their existing ministry. If you have any interest in starting a team, please register today.

See the resources for your church to start a team

Home Modification Questions to Ask for Accessibility (from eldercare.gov)

1 – U. S. Census Bureau, Housing Vacancies and Homeownership (CPS/HVS): 2013. (Table 7. Homeownership Rates by Age of Householder: Third Quarter 2012 and 2013)

Strength in Numbers

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10,12 shows that “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (NRSV) We’ve seen that wisdom from God lived out in our ministry.

We were desiring to serve more people and grow the ministry, but increasing the budget wasn't an option. Sound familiar?

We knew that we needed help, so late in 2012, we asked several of our top volunteers to come on as an Advisory team that we now call “The Core Team”. They were originally intended to be a sounding Board and operational assistance for our two staff. They have been more valuable than we could have imagined (in fact, most off them have joined our Board of Directors!).

With their individual skills, strengths and passions, they have helped in a number of areas:

  1. Managing home repair and accessibility projects (allowing the ministry to multiply impact).
  2. Helping us update our overall direction for the ministry and strategic plan. Like Proverbs 11:14 teaches, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” (ESV).
  3. Connecting with a foundation, which allowed for a very helpful discussion about how we present what we do and what foundations look for.
  4. Perhaps most importantly, giving us encouragement!

  5. How about you? Are there areas where your ministry wants to improve or expand, but you don’t have enough staff and Board to tackle it all? Have you fully leveraged your ministry’s “super volunteers”?

    2011 photos and videos 3995Did a face or name pop into your mind? If not, can you think of people who work with you regularly, with the heart, commitment, vision and availability to take on more and provide your critical services to the community? It might start simply with some men and women providing some new ideas and insights - plotting out your most critical needs and next steps.

    And looking at it from the other side, are you managing your faithful volunteers well? Are there opportunities that you could be providing for them to grow and feel more valued? By fully leveraging volunteers (while being respectful of schedules!), everyone wins – your organization can provide more services, volunteers are challenged and allowed to grow, and the community gets more needs met!

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