The mission of Silver Angels for the Elderly is to put God’s love into action by giving hope, joy and fellowship to isolated seniors. This nonprofit organization provides awareness and support to residents of eldercare facilities and their family members in Kootenai County.
Founder Diane Zell gave us an insider's look at her impactful organization.
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How has your organization evolved over the years?
Silver Angels for the Elderly (SAFE) has evolved from a woman and a dog visiting residents at a local rehab to a host of volunteers who love to show their compassion to the residents through visitation (Angel Buddy Program), supplying personalized Birthday gifts to residents at 2 local rehabs as well as celebrating most holidays with cards and gifts. Throughout our 4 years we have delivered 389 birthday presents, hosted birthday parties supplied 718 Christmas gifts to caregivers, staff and residents and held Christmas parties and Christmas Card Parties for 9 facilities.
What are the biggest rewards or what do you enjoy most about the work you do?
The biggest rewards are the smiles on the residents faces when they are remembered, either through visitation, receiving a gift or enjoying watching classic cars cruise by their facilities during our Classic Car Poker Run fundraiser. So many residents don’t have family or friends visit them so our hope is through our time and gifts, they will know that someone cares.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face day-to-day?
The biggest challenge we have is encouraging volunteers to take leadership positions. Many are very happy to volunteer but the task of managing the programs would ideally be delegated, to relieve the burden of those who are on the board.
What is one thing you wish your donors/the general public knew about nonprofit work?
As most small nonprofits know, with limited funds, we are unable to get the word out about what we do. It’s only through the generosity of businesses and individuals that we are able to continue our work. When a person experiences either a stay in a rehab or has a family member in a facility they then see the need for what we do.
What is your favorite part of your INC membership?
INC has been instrumental in our success. 2 years ago, we were blessed with several hours of counseling with a consultant, Robin Ohlgren, who helped us succeed as a nonprofit. The updating of our website gave us more opportunities to share what we do. Secondly, Idaho Gives has given us a much bigger audience to tell Idaho what we do and we have benefitted from this exposure. Thirdly, the Board bootcamp helped organize our board. We look forward to the many opportunities offered through Idaho Non-Profit.
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