The Caregiver Support Initiative Steering Committee is made up of community leaders, service providers and experts in aging issues. Most importantly, the committee includes caregivers. They are valued committee members who spend precious time away from their responsibilities to add their experience and perspective to the committee. Since the community-wide convenings in September and October of last year, the Steering Committee has been working to make life better for the thousands of fellow caregivers in our region. Big things are just about to happen!
The Steering Committee has three action item goals:
1. Make permanent improvements to access to information and services.
2. Increase the general awareness of challenges facing caregivers.
3. Create a network for caregivers to share information among themselves.
In the next few months, we will publish the Washoe Caregiver Guidebook. This Guidebook will be released at hundreds of distribution points throughout the community to reach people new to caregiving. An online go-to resource directory, WashoeCaregiver.org will be launched, giving both caregivers and service providers a convenient way to look for help and available services in the Truckee Meadows.
Not a “One and Done” Effort
At the Community Foundation, our work with generous fundholders and our connections with nonprofit organizations that provide care to people in need keep us close to community challenges. The Caregiver Support Initiative, proposed by Grady Tarbutton, retired Director of Washoe County Senior Services, has bloomed under the stewardship of the hundreds of people who have participated in the initiative. This is not a “one and done” effort. I believe this initiative will permanently change and improve the quality of life for people who, many quite suddenly, find themselves as the primary caregiver for someone.
I couldn’t be prouder of our lead initiative staff, Nick Tscheekar, Director of Community Leadership, and Sarah Jahr, Initiatives Associate, through the Americorps VISTA program. In addition to the volunteer Steering Committee, our Board members and staff are involved in the Caregiver Support Initiative. Although the Caregiver Guide and WashoeCaregiver.org are not yet ready for public release, I have seen these tools. I am perhaps more excited about the impact they will have on our community than any of the work we have done before.
As the Publishers Clearing House ads say, “Check your mail.” We will let you know when the Caregiver Guide Book, WashoeCaregiver.org, and the Caregiver Forum are public. If you are interested in getting involved, in helping with genuine and meaningful philanthropy that results in real impact in our community, give me a call. The Community Foundation connects people, like you, who care, with causes that matter.
Chris Askin, President, and CEO