Donations help COA aid seniors
The Richland Parish Voluntary Council on Aging is accepting donations to its Sponsor a Senior fundraiser.
“Donations to the Sponsor a Senior fundraiser help us serve senior citizens in Richland Parish, COA director Mickey Shoemaker Fisher said. “The Richland Parish Police Jury provides invaluable assistance by helping pay some of our operating expenses. We are so blessed to be part of this caring community.”
Fisher said community support continues to be vital to the Richland Parish senior citizens. The state and federal government reimburses the council for only a portion of the expenses. Also, the Richland COA receives no millage or local sales tax revenue.
“We continue to be subject to budget restrictions and increased expenses,” she said. “The Council on Aging depends on our community to help fund much needed services to the elderly. They depend on the COA to continue providing meals and services.”
The Richland COA serves approximately 30,000 meals to senior citizens each year. Many seniors come to the centers in Delhi and Rayville for sit-down meals and social activities.
The COA staff also drives more than 150 miles a day to deliver meals to home-bound seniors throughout Richland Parish.
“Thankfully, after last year’s budget issues required one-day-a-week delivery of frozen meals, we were able to return to delivering four days a week to provide a hot meal plus one sack lunch to our home-bound,” Fisher said. “With your help, we will continue to do so.”
Each meal now costs the CoA $3.71. The requested $1 per meal donation from seniors goes toward the cost of the meals. Most other Councils deliver five frozen meals one day a week, but the RVCOA strives to deliver hot meals to the home-bound. Besides the meal, this gives the COA staff the opportunity to visit and see if they need assistance or additional services.
Donations are so important. For example, a $20 donation can feed a senior for a month; $250 can provide a senior with 250 meals during the year. Anyone can make donations for basic needs of the COA or on behalf of a specific senior. Several people and churches put the COA in their budget and donate monthly. Some may want to consider making a donation in-memory-of or in-honor-of a loved one. All donations are tax deductible.
In addition to meals, the COA assists senior citizens in other ways, including transportation in the Rayville area, food stamp applications and assisting with applications for Entergy assistance for qualified members. The COA accepts donations of walkers, wheelchairs, canes, bathtub chairs, hospital beds, books, etc., and then loan the items to seniors as needed. It also hosts an annual Fan Drive to help seniors get fans since some seniors have no air conditioners or fans to circulate air.
“Thank you for any donations to help our seniors,” Fisher said. “Please stop by and visit with us. God bless you and yours.”