Important resource for seniors and adults with disabilities
Waukesha County seniors and adults with disabilities are just a phone call away from a valuable resource. Heather Stoskopf, development manager at Interfaith Senior Programs, reviewed aspects of her organization during our meeting on Feb. 22.
Though founded in 2007, Interfaith's roots date to 1997. That's when Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Waukesha County started. Its goal was to match interested volunteers with projects in the area.
In 1991, Interfaith Caregiving Network was formed to to meet the needs of adults and seniors with disabilities. The two organizations merged in 2007, and became Interfaith Senior Programs. (The executive director of Interfaith Senior Programs is Kathy Gale, president of the Waukesha Noon Rotary Club
Interfaith serves adults 18 and over with disabilities, along with seniors 60 and over. According to Stoskopf, a typical client is a widow in her upper 70s to early 80s. She lives alone on limited income and does not drive.
Some clients are in dire financial situations. "We've had clients call and say they're splitting pills in half to save money," Stoskopf says.
Interfaith's goals are varied, Stoskopf explains, and include:
Engaging seniors: Partnering retired seniors with area high schools. Volunteers are involved with tutoring, a pen pal program, teaching US history, and an inter-generational art program, among others.
More than 360 seniors contributed 19,701 hours in 2015, Stoskopf says.
Serving seniors: Interfaith offers rides to the grocery store or food pantry, pharmacy and doctor's office. Their volunteers perform yard work and simple home repairs for home-bound seniors. The program served 1,101 seniors with disabilities in 2015. In addition, volunteers provided 3,490 rides to medical appointments and another 1,838 rides for other needs.
Holiday Giving Program: Select needy seniors receive packages containing essential items such as clothing and personal care products. For some people, that's the only holiday gift they receive. "It's really neat we can participate," Stoskopf says.
Interfaith currently has 2,000 volunteers on call. Ages range from children to seniors. Prospective clients (or their family members) are welcome to call Interfaith Senior Programs at 262-549-3348. More information is available on their website
Dealing a mystery of Old West proportions
It was a rowdy time at the Deadwood Saloon (aka New Berlin Banquet Center) Saturday night. Poor Mitch Maverick ate some lead right after winning $100,000 in the annual poker tournament. But who dunit? That was the task for the record 175+ people in attendance. After enjoying a hearty buffet dinner, attendees hunkered down to figure out this ace high mystery.
We're still tallying the results, but we can say that this was our largest turnout to date. A hearty 'thank you' to all the donors, sponsors and guests. This would not have been a success without your support. And, of course, a tip of the 10 gallon hat to all the Rotarians who chipped in. It was an incredible night.