Carnation Senior Center held their annual meeting on Jan. 11, followed by an emergency preparedness meeting. About 55 people attended the annual meeting. The meeting was led by Kira Avery, the new director of the center. Lisa Yaeger is now director emeritus. They selected their officers for next year. They added 2 new members to the Board, and received 100% approval by returned ballots: Nancy Gass, Attorney; and Carole Teshima, Retired Administrative Services Manager at WWU.
Then they praised the community for the 9,700 volunteer hours. They discussed their accomplishments for the year, which included 3,705 frozen Meals On Wheels, helping 30 local, homebound seniors and their families receive regular deliveries of nutritious food (almost double what we delivered in 2021). They provided 1,191 individuals services and provided 11,000 hot made-from-scratch meals to the community. They have many opportunities for activities including more evening programs such as Spanish and Zumba. This included the hiking group traveled 330 miles overall!
They talked about the many fun field trips and asked people to sign up to drive so you can get a guaranteed seat on the trip. They have been averaging between 12 to 19 people on these trips. You do not need a commercial license to drive the van, and the center has insurance.
The senior center is also open to all people. They are now a designated cooling center or warming center in case of emergencies.
They also run a thrift store, and through November, the thrift store brought in $61,624 — an almost 20% increase from 2021.
They talked about staffing. They will be adding a social worker that is being paid for by the county. They will have a new program coordinator, Kelly Harris.
There was a comprehensive discussion on the affordable senior housing that they will be building. It will be 15 units for low-income seniors. The cost will be $8,106,313. The funds have been raised by the community, county and state funding. The criteria is 60% of the county AMI — Average Media Income — and 5 of the units will be dedicated to veterans. The units will be one bedroom one bath with an L-shaped kitchen and about 350 square feet. It will be three floors with an elevator. The building will also have a laundry room. They will start the project in May 2023 and plan to complete construction in summer 2024.
The project will be overseen by a management agency with oversight of the board who will have ownership of the building. They believe there is a huge need as North Bend Senior Center has a two year waiting list, so this building should likely have full occupancy.
In my opinion, we are very lucky to have this facility and the wonderful, dedicated employees serving our area!
After the meeting, there was an emergency preparedness class taught by John Lambert, former fire chief of Duvall, and several center staff. The class was very informative, and the audience also had many good suggestions and helpful experiences to share. They suggested that everyone have an emergency plan as during an emergency is no time to plan!
If you have people in your neighborhood who have special needs, be sure to include planning for them too. There are county resources such as Alert to sign up to get emergency information. They suggested having many supplies on hand such as a flashlight, head light, batteries, medications, food for your pets, clothes, toilet paper and bags, first aid kit, pocket knife, hammer, nails, blankets, 2 gallons of water a day per person, a hand crank radio to get weather information and other alerts and more. A list can be found on Office and Personal Kit Supplies at makeitthrough.org. This site has videos and lots of useful information. They talked about knowing the evacuation routes, inundation areas, and having an out-of-state contact to coordinate with in case local lines are down. These plans should be updated regularly and all family members know the plan.
They had received a grant for this class and were able to give out a starter kit. Many items needed are already in our homes, but getting them all together in one place for quick evacuation is important. There should also be a kit in our cars in case we are not at home when an emergency hits.
I have lived through two emergencies when I needed my kit. With the Nisqually Earthquake, I added tarps and hammer and nails. On another emergency (storm and flood), I added to the list bungie cords and rope as in a storm it is amazing what needs arise. So be innovative as you think of what you might need. We had a family campout in our backyard one year. Every time someone had to go into the house to get something, was a point and special chores were “awarded” for anyone needing to go back into the house. It was fun and lots of laughs and innovation, but also made it clear how important it is to think through many potential needs. Happy getting prepared!
Kathy Lambert is a former member of the King County Council who represented the Snoqualmie Valley. Send comments to email@example.com.