Senior Services 2020 Annual Report
The crowning achievement of 2020 came in August when Calhoun County voters overwhelmingly approved a ten-year renewal of the Senior Millage, with 82% of voters saying “yes” to seniors. As 2021 begins, office staff will be involved in community vaccination efforts in partnership with CareWell Services and the Calhoun County Public Health Department.
Numbers at a Glance
|Number of seniors served with
|Amount spent by Senior Services
for county seniors
|Number of mini-grants awarded|
The 12 mini-grants awarded to community organizations totaled $50,600. Those organizations include:
- The Alano Club
- Albion Health Care Alliance
- Albion Community Gardens
- Albion-Homer United Way
- CareWell Services Southwest
- City of Albion
- City of Marshall
- Haven of Rest Ministries
- Marshall Lions Club
- Marshall Mobile Meals
- Neighborhoods, Inc.
- South Michigan Food Bank
Faced with a global pandemic, the Senior Services staff was challenged with serving seniors while limiting in-person interactions. With the cancellation of all special events, and the pivot from regular work to responding to the COVID-19 crisis, staff were challenged to get creative to find meaningful ways for the office to serve Calhoun County seniors. By the numbers:
- Over 5,000 hand-sewn masks were collected and distributed to area seniors. Many masks were made by seniors themselves.
- 122 hours were spent delivering Meals on Wheels in the City of Battle Creek. Many regular volunteers had to step back due to their own high risk for contracting COVID, so staff were able to step in and fill this need.
- 186 free Merry Mile coupons were redeemed for seniors to drive through the lights display at the Calhoun County Fairgrounds. This was a fun way to spread holiday cheer, while keeping seniors safe.
- 10 meetings of the Calhoun Professionals in Aging Network were transitioned into an online format, and will continue into 2021.
- 40 centenarians were recognized with flowers and a feature in Senior Times.
The 2020 Joanne Konkle Lifetime Leadership Award was given to Jolene English, a longtime employee of CareWell Services. Jolene has been instrumental in the Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program. Both Jolene and Joanne received their social work degrees from Western Michigan University and are well-known for their baked goods.As a taxing entity, Senior Millage receives revenue from FireKeepers Casino and Personal Property Tax Reimbursement from the State of Michigan. After a yearlong conversation, the Senior Millage Allocation Committee voted to use these revenue streams to fund Senior Strategic Projects. This one-time funding is meant to inspire innovation and better the lives of Calhoun County seniors. Four projects were awarded funding in 2020:
- Albion Community Foundation: predevelopment of market rate senior housing in Albion.
- Albion Community Gardens: fencing, irrigation, and equipment to expand a valuable intergenerational and interracial gardening program.
- Albion Health Care Alliance: purchase of eye clinic equipment to establish eye care services on the east side of the county.
- Senior Care Partners PACE: purchase of Grandpads for participants to help them connect with family, friends, and the PACE team.
Click here for a PDF of the 2020 annual report