by Kate Kerr
Article originally posted in the Redstone Review
A huge thank you to two longtime LEAF volunteers, Pat Journeay and Peter Maves, who have recently moved on to new volunteer positions.
Pat volunteered with the Lyons Food Pantry. A Lyons resident for over 30 years, about seven years ago, she was serving on the Lyons Community Foundation Board when she was asked to consider volunteering with the newly created food pantry. Her Spanish language skills were especially needed. At the Pantry, Pat found a unique way to connect with folks in our community from all backgrounds.
Pat says she has continually been amazed by Lyons’ vibrant community of dedicated volunteers. For example, for the Food Pantry, many hours are logged each week by a team of volunteers collecting, organizing and storing the food which is offered to clients each Wednesday from 3:30-5:00pm.
Recently Pat and her husband, Bruce, moved to Longmont but their roots in Lyons run deep. They will be back for book club, music events and more. Their home in Lyons was sold to an Apple Valley family who lost their home in the flood.
Pat’s newest volunteer roles involve housing a Chinese exchange student for five weeks as well as a mentoring a youngster for at least a year through the “I Have A Dream” Foundation. Pat can also be found at rubber stamping workshops at the Longmont Senior Center.
Peter Maves recently retired from the LEAF Board of Directors where he served as Treasurer. Peter has played an instrumental role in the evolution of the LEAF program. Over the years, as a clinical psychologist he has served on a number of boards. About 7 years ago, Peter was asked to join the board for the newly created Basic Needs and Emergency Fund and Food Pantry started as a mission of the Lyons Community Church. Much of its funding came from the Lyons Community Fund (LCF). After the September 2013 flood, Peter became part of the “Rebuild Lyons” Board which raised a million dollars in a month to assist Lyons’ residents with immediate financial needs. After Rebuild closed, grants continued to be awarded and the needs in the community were greater than ever. It became clear that the community needed a formal emergency assistance organization with non-profit status.
Peter is retiring now because his three main goals for LEAF have been achieved. He wanted LEAF to become its own entity with: 1. A firm, solid direction 2. A focused, committed Board and 3. Non-profit status and financial stability.
Of all the Boards Peter has served on over the years, he says LEAF has been the most remarkable. He says: “The competency, talent and generosity of individuals in Lyons and on the LEAF Board is staggering.”
Peter still volunteers with LEAF. He was most recently seen expertly flipping pancakes and sausages at a LEAF breakfast. (He comes by these skills honestly as he once worked as a short order cook.) Peter is also seen around town playing guitar and singing with the “Complete Unknowns” band.
Thank you again, Pat and Peter, for being two of so many incredible volunteers who make a “staggering” difference for the Lyons community.
LEAF offers a human services safety net to those in need in the greater Lyons area. Services include Meals On Wheels, Basic Needs and Resource Matching, and the Food Pantry open Wednesdays 3:30-5pm at 350 Main St. (Lyons Community Church). Donations of food and household products are accepted 10am-3pm. To contact LEAF, call 720-864-4309 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Possible federal cuts could affect Carbon Valley Meals on Wheels, but not Longmont and Lyons programs
Possible federal cuts could affect Carbon Valley Meals on Wheels, but not Longmont program
By Karen Antonacci
POSTED: 03/23/2017 06:57:41 PM MDT |
Meals on Wheels volunteer Jyl Phillips and client Laura Hargreaves, 85, hug after Phillips delivered a meal to Hargreaves' home Wednesday. (Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)Longmont Meals on Wheels would be unaffected by any cuts the federal government could make to money that some states and counties use to fund the independent nonprofits.
But Tri-Town Meals on Wheels — which serves Frederick, Firestone and Dacono residents — would likely see a budget reduction if that money from the federal government dried up.
Meals on Wheels programs, which provide meals to needy seniors, have a national lobbying organization, but are run independently on the local level.
As such, whether President Donald Trump's proposed federal budget cuts will affect Meals on Wheels would be determined on a case-by-case basis.
In the case of the Longmont Meals on Wheels program, it wouldn't be affected because the Longmont program doesn't receive federal or state funding.
Karla Hale, executive director of Longmont Meals on Wheels, said the program relies on local grants and donations.
"Longmont Meals on Wheels does not receive any state or federal funding because we are so fortunate to be in a community that supports us!" Hale wrote in an email. "We rely on the support of all of the individuals, foundations and businesses in our community."
The positive effect from the national media attention is that people are donating more to Longmont Meals on Wheels.
AdvertisementHale estimated that there has been a 15 percent increase in calls from people interested in volunteering over the last week and a half.
"Meals on Wheels programs are very important and do make a big impact in the communities they serve," Hale wrote. "Not only do they provide much needed nutrition to seniors and people with disabilities, they provide a daily check and many other services that help keep individuals in their homes and aging in place."
For other Meals on Wheels programs that do receive federal funding, it's complicated.
The questions about Meals on Wheels stem from two community development block grants that would be eliminated under Trump's proposed budget. Some states and cities use those grants to fund local Meals on Wheels programs, according to a story by National Public Radio.
Meals on Wheels volunteer Rich Homerick, of Longmont, loads meals into coolers at the Longmont Senior Center on Tuesday before delivering them to people in the Nelson Park area. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)Other federal money comes to some Meals on Wheels program through a separate funding program under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Trump has proposed cutting the overall HHS budget by 17.9 percent, but it's not clear whether those cuts would affect the Administration for Community Living, which funds nutrition programs for the elderly, according to the Washington Post.
Mary Margaret Cox, executive director of Meals on Wheels of Greeley & Weld County, said the tri-town program is heavily supported by the Greeley program, which does receive federal funding.
The food that goes out to seniors in Frederick, Firestone and Dacono is prepared in the Greeley kitchen, supervised by dietitians, frozen and sent to the Carbon Valley.
While the tri-towns program doesn't directly receive federal funding, Cox said about a third of the Greeley program's budget comes from federal funding. As such, if that funding were cut, Greeley would need to cut back on the money it sends to the tri-towns from donations and grants and the Carbon Valley program would be indirectly affected.
"We would have to work harder to find other sources of money to help us if the federal dollars went away. And then that cuts us short for the program in south Weld County. It's a vicious circle," Cox said.
Cox said she and her board are trying not to panic in order to not alarm the seniors the programs serve. She said she is saying a lot of prayers, trying to have a lot of faith and talking to Colorado's congressional delegation.
"The good lord listens to me pretty good. I've been doing this 47 years and it's been up and down in that length of time. I'm hoping this is just another bubble," Cox said.
Cox said she remembered when Sen. Thomas Eagleton, who would later go on to be a failed democratic vice presidential candidate, introduced the Comprehensive Older Americans Services Amendments bill. President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1973, providing the funding scheme that some Meals on Wheels programs still use.
"I just can't think that something that we worked so hard on then, that one person can take it away in the blink of an eye," Cox said.
Karen Antonacci: 303-684-5226, email@example.com or twitter.com/ktonacci
Click here to view the article on the Times-Call website: http://www.timescall.com/ci_30876450#disqus_thread
Habitat is accepting applications for new homes in Lyons. Applicants must have been displaced by the flood; application deadline is January 13th
Thanks to hundreds of community members and organizations, the holidays were filled with hope for local families in need this year. Numerous efforts came together to make a big difference including local food drives, holiday giving baskets, and LEAF’s new program, the Holiday Giving Tree.
The new LEAF Giving Tree program helped 88 people in the Greater Lyons area have brighter holidays, thanks to the donations of skateboards, blouses, toys, books, winter boots, and other gifts piled high at Lyons Community Church.
The inaugural LEAF Giving Tree program wrapped up a successful effort on December 11, delivering hundreds of gifts directly to recipient’s homes. “The compassion and generosity of the people in our community to make the LEAF Giving Tree a success is truly astounding,” said Pam Browning, Chair of the LEAF Board of Directors.
Clients of LEAF’s three programs (Lyons Community Food Pantry, Lyons Meals on Wheels, and Individual and Family Advocacy) were offered the opportunity to fill out forms listing up the three wishes valued at $25 or less. Wishes came pouring in, from single mothers trying to make ends meet, to elderly who were thrilled at the idea of getting a new blouse, to hard working families needing some warm boots and clothes.
Wishes were then listed on handmade ornaments and hung on trees at three locations in town, the Stone Cup, the Barking Dog, and the Lyons Regional Library. “We hung up 88 ornaments just after Thanksgiving, and within a week they had all been chosen. We weren’t sure if we were going to end up with a bunch of ornaments left over at the end. We are so grateful for everyone who picked one!” notes Amy Ogilvie, LEAF Giving Tree volunteer.
LEAF created a giving tree program in response to numerous requests to adopt local families in need from community members during the holidays last year. A group of volunteers, spearheaded by Executive Director Emily Dusel, came together and worked diligently to make the first year a success. Volunteers included Anne Haakenson, Andrea Buus, Abby Wynja, Amy Ogilvie, and Zana Ganzel. “I am so thankful for the opportunity to help those in need during the holiday season. I feels so good to give back,” stated volunteer Zana Ganzel.
The spirit of giving was exceptional in Lyons this year. In addition to the outpouring of support for the LEAF Giving Tree program, the Lyons Middle School Student Council held their annual food drive for the food pantry in November, donating over 800 pounds of food. The Lyons Elementary School PTO held a food drive in December, donating over 2,500 items to the Holiday Food Basket Program and to the food pantry. The High Street Concert Series and Western Stars held food drives as well. And this year the “Sock it to Um” campaign led by John O’Brien delivered hundreds of new socks to LEAF clients. And finally, the annual Holiday Basket program, a collaboration between Higher Ground Ministries, LEAF, the Boulder County Sheriff, and the Lyons Elementary PTO, distributed food baskets loaded with hams, potatoes, fresh fruit, canned goods, and more, to 35 families on December 15th.
The spirit of giving is alive and well in Lyons! Thanks to everyone in our community who helped make the holidays a little brighter for those who need a little extra help this holiday season.
Tis the season of giving! In the spirit of the season, LEAF is offering it's first annual Holiday Giving Tree program.
We greatly appreciate your generosity as we work to bring smiles to local families in need.
WHEN: Starting Saturday, November 26th and ending Friday, December 9th
WHERE: You will be able to pick an anonymous ornament off our giving trees located at the Stone Cup, the Barking Dog, and the Lyons Library.
WHAT TO DO: All gifts should be delivered, wrapped, with the ornament attached, to Lyons Community Church at 350 Main Street during the designated drop off times of:
Happy Holidays from all of us at LEAF!
The Wild Rumpus sure was wild! The biggest adults only Halloween Party in Lyons’ history, Rave to the Grave, was held on Friday October 28th at the Wildflower Pavilion at Planet Bluegrass. The party was a benefit for Lyons Emergency Assistance Fund (LEAF).
“We are so thankful to all of the artists, musicians, party-goers, donors, clients, sponsors, and volunteers for making Rave to the Grave a huge success raising over $22,000! The money raised for LEAF will directly benefit our friends and neighbors in need,” says Tanya Daty, a LEAF board member.
Rave to the Grave is a benefit for LEAF, whose mission is to offer a human services safety net to those in need in the Greater Lyons area. This year, partygoers had an opportunity to experience a visual tour of LEAF created by Peggy Dyer before entering the Wildflower Pavilion. Powerful photos lined the walls with clients, staff, and volunteers of LEAF sharing messages such as “Thank you LEAF, for feeding us”, “Everyone struggles sometimes”, and “I am a part of a community that cares”.
The music by Arthur Lee Land and gogoLab with special guests Jesse Garland, Brian Schey, and Elephant Revival's Daniel Rodriguez and Bonnie Paine was truly out of this world! Along with a video DJ show by Needmore productions, wild costumes, lots of dancing, great food and drink, and fun booths, this party was epic. Congratulations to Bob and Janet Wood for winning the costume contest as the twins from The Shining.
Local artist Kahlie Sue Pinello took the lead on artistic vision and decorations along with her team of Wendy Miller and Jacob Leeuwenburgh and wow did they deliver! From blood lining the walls, to creepy themed booths, this team blew it out of the water!
Planet Bluegrass donated the venue, staff time, and proceeds from alcohol sales directly to LEAF. This event would not have been possible without their generosity. Thank you to Craig Ferguson and all of the planet staffers that helped! Rave to the Grave sponsors covered all of the hard costs of the event, allowing every dollar raised that night to go directly to LEAF’s programs. Thank you to band sponsor Oskar Blues, premier sponsors Headquarters Cannabis Company, S2O Design, Wink Optical and Bud Depot, contributing sponsors Independent Power Systems, Laura Levy Colorado Real Estate, Smokin’ Daves, Lyons Sandstone, and LeGault Construction, and the thirteen additional supporting and in-kind sponsors! And finally, thanks to Ax & Oar for providing delicious food!
LEAF serves over 100 people every week with programs including the Lyons Community Food Pantry, Individual and Family Advocacy, Flood Recovery, and Lyons Meals on Wheels. The fundraiser raised about 20% of their annual operating budget.
By Emily Dusel
LYONS - Toni St. John, a volunteer delivery driver for the Meals on Wheels program at Lyons Golden Gang, was devastated to hear that the program would be closing soon. “I feel that seniors are such an underserved part of the population. Everyone assumes that elders have someone looking out for them, but many of them don’t. I feel we need to provide for their basic needs the way we do for other segments of the population” said St. John. With the program on the brink of closing, many around town are desperately trying to find a solution.
“The Human Services and Aging Commission and LEAF have been aware of the upcoming closure for quite a while. We are all working hard to come up with a solution. The big question is what do we do next? How do we save Meals on Wheels in Lyons?” said Ellen Hine, a member of the LEAF board.
All options were explored, Boulder County Aging Services, Longmont Meals on Wheels, the Town of Lyons, and LEAF all tried to find a way to take on the program. But until now, the pieces of the puzzle just weren’t fitting together. By volunteering her time as a leader of the program, St. John saved the day. “I knew that if I didn’t step up it would go away. My motivation in stepping forward was that this program, although small, is of such great value to the community.”
After an impassioned plea from St. John at a recent LEAF board meeting, and a long well thought out discussion about LEAF taking on the program, the board decided to do a 1-year pilot program of Meals On Wheels.
The LEAF board is wary of taking on a new program when fundraising has been difficult this year. “LEAF needs to see an increase in financial support from our community in order to remain sustainable. Taking on the Meals on Wheels program is a risk for LEAF, and that’s why we decided on a pilot year” noted Susan McCann, LEAF board member.
The pilot year will run from October 1, 2016 to October 1, 2017. LEAF will operate the program of Meals on Wheels with Toni St. John as the volunteer manager. Meal delivery will continue to operate Tuesdays – Fridays to seniors and people with disabilities. Currently, six individuals receive Meals on Wheels in the Lyons area. LEAF is making a 1 year commitment to see what actual costs, growth, and time are involved. LEAF plans to keep the overhead as low as possible by harnessing the compassion of volunteers like Toni St. John.
As stated by Meals on Wheels America “For millions of Americans, Meals on Wheels is literally the difference between remaining in their own homes and needing to relocate to a nursing facility. The nutritious meal, friendly visit and safety check help them cope with three of the biggest threats of aging: hunger, isolation and loss of independence. Research proves that when seniors have the right support, they gain greater quality of life, need fewer hospital stays and live longer.”
The Lyons Meals on Wheels program, and LEAF as a whole, receive no federal or state funding and rely heavily on financial contributions from donors such as you. Simple monetary contributions, online (click here) or through the mail (PO Box 324), various types of planned giving, in kind gifts of goods and services, etc. are but a few of the ways in which you can play a part in furthering LEAF’s work in the community.
"This is a very exciting venture in reaching out again to a population in need in our community,” said Pam Browning, chair of LEAF. “I'm very proud of our organization for taking this risk and trying to help with something our town was about to lose."