EXECUTIVE CORNER: DAVID LOMAKA
FINISHING YEAR STRONG
2019 is rapidly coming to a close and we should all be pretty pleased with what we have accomplished.
First, and always first, is the great work of providing quality, compassionate service to thousands of our senior consumers. And when I say ‘we’, it's all of us, including our fantastic team of hundreds of volunteers. Thank you everyone! We make a huge difference in improving the quality of our seniors, and their caregivers' lives. Thanks to each and everyone one of you. Looking back, there are a number of things we have improved. We’ve made huge improvements in our customer service, in terms of answering the phones and the wait time from first contact to actually receiving services.
Opening two new senior café sites as well as a new Day Program has made what we do so much more accessible to our consumers, families and volunteers. Our “look” has changed in print materials, on our website, at the Cafés’, and on some of our rolling billboards (vehicles).
This summer we reached out to the community to recruit hundreds of additional volunteers to help with the summer shortfall and still deliver all the meals needing to get to our homebound seniors. More recently finalizing the sale of the building and doing it in such away that allows us to stay in this location is very important to our future. There has been so much more.
With all that progress there still are opportunities for us to continue to pursue, mostly in the areas of getting the word out as to what we offer, reaching out to private and managed care marketplace, and making sure that all of our excess capacity in transportation, day care and dining sites are fully utilized. We know the need is out there, we just haven’t reached them yet.
We will be making some program changes starting this month to put us in a better direction financially. Stay tuned for more on these. Removing a majority of the costs that comes with the Evergreen building and relocating the Day Care Program from this location to St. Pete, much closer to where our consumers reside, will be a life saver as related to our budget. A little more financial belt tightening for just one more year. The plan is all of these changes will allow us to balance our budget by the end of 2020.
The holiday season is now upon us. It is a great time to reflect on all we have, to be thankful for those blessings, to look out for one another – or those who may not be experiencing feelings of joy and love that comes with the holiday season.
To all our teammates, volunteers, Board Members, consumers and their caregivers – Our Neighborly Family, my wish is that you have the happiest of holidays, that you and your families find time to be thankful together, to remember those who have gone before us and to enjoy one other’s company. Peace.