ON ORGANIZATIONAL LETTERHEAD
September 18, 2005
Mr. Lawrence Martinelli, Jr., President
The Lawrence Martinelli Fund
P. O. Box 1225
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Dear Mr. Vickers:
Greetings! [The introduction paragraph is purely to connect. . . Either 1) first- or second-generational connections/relationships, 2) geographic connections, and/or 3) field of interest connections AND/OR relationships.]
"We are approaching a care-giving crisis in America."
73-year-old former First Lady Rosalynn Carter
Consider these statistics:
• Two thirds of all of the people who have ever reached the age of 65 are alive today.
• The fastest growing segment of the population in our country is 55 and older.
• Every 7.7 seconds someone turns 50 in this country.
• Today, one in every six Americans, or 44 million people, are 60 years of age or older.
• 34 million Americans, or one in eight, are age 65 or older, and three out of five are women.
Over the next 35 years, the population aged 65 and over will more than double while the number of persons aged 85 and over will triple. By the year 2030, one in four elderly Americans will be from a minority group. A high percentage of these seniors are constantly living through a series of disruptive and difficult transitions. For people who are frail and vulnerable, forgotten, neglected, or deserted. They are alone–lonely and hurting.
While many seniors were active members of their families and communities, they are now at risk of losing their independence. These include four million Americans aged 85 and older, those living alone without a caregiver, those living in nursing homes or other institutional settings, members of minority groups, older persons with physical or mental impairments, low-income older persons, and those who are abused, neglected or exploited.
SENIORS International was created to address the issues of this particular group of individuals and is strategically positioned to offer help, hope and encouragement to this ever-increasing segment of our nation’s population with our "Family of Encouragement" program.
We have a proven model ready and in place, we have the relationships and we have the heart for these "Senior Saints," but we need help. We need YOUR help. Our plan is three-fold: We currently reach a small number of senior citizens throughout the Holden area with a variety of personalized activities, including bi-weekly individual notes of encouragement, free monthly group outings and activities, along with personal visitations. Seniors are often weary. It takes time to gain their trust and affection. That is why we spend months consistently writing them before we gather groups of 25 to 50 seniors together for monthly group activities.
First, we communicate with them by cards and letters, phone calls and personal visits to begin a relationship built upon acts of service and an investment of our lives into theirs. Second, we invite them to luncheons, movies and other informal gatherings and facilitate them in meeting other seniors in their immediate area who are also members of our "Family of Encouragement." As they begin to bond they become a cohesive, caring family of their own, encouraging and enjoying one another. Finally, as they develop these relationships with other seniors, we teach and encourage them to go out and find others whom need the "human touch and help" in order to pass the blessing on. The experience for many is life changing.
With your help, we will reach an additional one hundred new seniors each year, with the SENIORS "Family of Encouragement" model program. You can help make our plan a reality. Please review the enclosed proposal and support our compassionate work. I am respectfully submitting the enclosed proposal for you to consider funding. If you need additional information, please feel free to call me at (660) 747-6390.
Please accept my sincere "thanks" for your leadership in the area of senior care. I hope you share my excitement about the potential of our unique model to have a significant impact on seniors in the Holden community, and then be replicated in other cities and communities elsewhere in the State of Missouri and throughout the country.
I am excited about establishing a partnership that will bear much fruit!
Teresa Kathrine Martinelli, President and Founder
SENIORS International, Inc.
Mission and Vision Statement:
Family of Encouragement
SENIORS International, Inc. exists to bring encouragement and hope to all member-groups of our society including children and youth, families, institutional groups, and, especially, senior adults. Our vision is to assist people who are alone and often far away from family (physically, emotionally, or spiritually), in finding or redefining hope and meaning in their lives and expand that hope through them into the lives of others.
We request that you partner with us to fund general operating expenses in order that we may reach senior citizens throughout the Holden area with a variety of personalized activities including bi-weekly individual notes of encouragement, free monthly group outings and activities, along with personal visitations. With your help, we will reach 100 new seniors with our program called " Family of Encouragement."
Target Market and Geographic Area Served:
We are targeting senior citizens who live alone in their own homes. Many of them are not only below the poverty level, but are far away from family and others to help with care-giving. Insert demographic, ethnographic, and geographic hard-data!
number of people, average age, average income, normal circumstances of reality. . .
The work of SENIORS International has been ongoing for more than fifteen years through personal, private funding. In 1997 SENIORS International incorporated in the State of Missouri as a 501 (c)(3) (See attached I.R.S. Determination letter) and is governed by a five member Board of Directors (See Page 6).
Primary Contact Information:
Mrs. Teresa Kathrine Martinelli, President/Founder 660.111.2222, Voice
SENIORS International 660.999.3333, Cell
P.O. Box 408 E-mail: events@SENIORS.com
Holden, MO 64055 Website: www.SENIORS.com
Financial Request and Purpose:
We are asking you to provide 25 of our targeted 100 seniors with a year of bi-monthly personal mail contacts, monthly group outings and activities, and personal visitations. This will require funding one part-time staff member, all mailing supplies including cards, stationary, postage, office, and transportation expenses for one year. At a cost of $ 659. per senior per year, we respectfully request a grant of $16,475.
Evaluation and Accountability:
The progress and effectiveness of SENIORS International, Inc. will be determined by ongoing analysis and oversight of staff, management and Board of Directors. We are willing to complete any other reasonable evaluative measures that you request.
Our plan is extensive, but doable over time. Since seniors require a long period of time to gain trust, we know that our plan has to be built up slowly. It takes 6 to 8 months to gain the trust of a senior through constant contact. Once trust is established, new elements can be entered into the relationship… those being: other seniors, youth, and community projects. Within three years, a solid extended family should be established to help support each other in emotional and physical ways. As members of the extended family graduate to convalescent homes or into eternal life, new members will be added to that particular "Family of Encouragement."
SENIORS International, Inc.
Family of Encouragement
Statement of the Problem:
"We are approaching a care giving crisis in America," says the 73-year-old former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. The reality of an aging population is that an elderly family member or friend affects everyone, regardless of age, in some way or another. There are 35.7 million Americans 65 or older, according to the Census Bureau. In the Holden area, there are more than 45,000 seniors who live alone.
Seniors naturally gravitate to the South in general and specifically to Missouri due to the favorable weather conditions and lower living costs. An extraordinarily high percentage of those seniors live alone or have family living a great distance away. With today’s smaller families and fast paced lifestyle, many seniors are forgotten or neglected. They quickly become shut in their homes when a relatively insignificant illness takes them down and they lose stamina and hope. A high percentage of these seniors are constantly living through a series of disruptive and difficult transitions for people who are already frail and vulnerable–many often feel forgotten, neglected, or deserted. They are alone–lonely and hurting.
While many of these seniors were active members of their families and communities, they are now at risk of losing their independence. These include four million Americans aged 85 and older, those living alone without a caregiver, those living in nursing homes or other institutional settings, members of minority groups, older persons with physical or mental impairments, low-income older persons, and those who are abused, neglected or exploited.
The Solution and the Project Description:
Our solution is "Family of Encouragement." We start with bi-monthly writing of notes, greeting cards, letters and postcards, to convey our love, hope and encouragement to this often discarded, overlooked and lonely segment of our society. The seniors we deal with were raised in a time without cell phones and email. They believe in writing letters. "Thank you" was never truly said unless it was in the form of a thank-you note. They look forward with great anticipation to the daily arrival of the postal carrier.
Seniors are often weary. It takes time to gain their trust and affection. That is why we spend months consistently writing them before we gather groups of 25 to 50 seniors together for monthly group activities. We invite them to luncheons, movies and other informal gatherings to meet additional seniors in their immediate area who are also members of the "Family of Encouragement."
"Family of Encouragement" is geared to the lower income, home alone seniors–most below poverty level. We never ask any seniors to pay for any activity they wish to attend. Through "Family of Encouragement," we create an additional group of people that the seniors can rely on and be encouraged by daily. We bridge the gap for this longer living, ever increasing group of our population.
The Methods and Procedures:
The plan is to build on the above solution and over time, once the group has established friendships, move into a proactive set of goals. We have formulated a plan to bring seniors and youth together. Young people in the community need to learn how to encourage and love seniors and the seniors pour wisdom back into the lives of the youth. Seniors that share time with the youth in their communities have a more youthful outlook and are more involved in their community's projects.
We have initiated the "Cookie Patrol" which is two groups of 15 to 20, six- to eleven-year-old girls and boys who deliver cookie to senior citizens. They sing a sweet song and offer a personally decorated cookie bag filled with cookies that the children have made. After hugs all around, the children depart leaving a smiling and often teary senior. This fall, the "Cookie Patrol" is expanding to deliver handmade flower pots and cards. We are also bringing seventh and eighth grade students together with seniors. The students have been assigned a newspaper column as part of their English course. The students interview a senior about their youth and how times have changed. The combined reports make a historic newspaper that the students publish in a computer class.