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Volunteers needed to aid Society for Elderly

PHOENIX - The National Society for American Indian Elderly (NSAIE) is looking for applicants to fill 14 open slots as part of a national outreach program. The Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program is aiding NSAIE in their efforts to locate extra funding for nutrition, social interactive, home services and transportation needs of elders. If selected, VISTA volunteers will also work to benefit the communities they are assigned to.

The NSAIE is a non-profit group that provides resources to tribal programs which serve American Indian elderly. Established in 1987, NSAIE currently provides resources to tribes throughout the United States. It provides much-needed services such as delivered meals to seniors living in isolated areas on tribal lands and health promotion activities.

NSAIE depends on private donations and memberships to continue helping elders receive these services. Because of the current state of the economy, current resources do not meet the need for elderly programs. Consequently, NSAIE is placing VISTA volunteers among many tribes to help create additional resources for NSAIE and also to the communities they are placed in.

Many of the 150,000 tribal elders throughout the country are facing growing difficulties including poverty, isolation and depression. Many of them are unable to pay for home care because most have yearly incomes below $5,000. These problems are even greater on reservations with poor housing conditions. Although most reservations have elderly programs and senior centers, these services rely on federal funding. With the Republican-led legislative assaults on Native American elder program funding, tribal agencies are forced to seek outside help to bridge the gap.

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VISTA volunteers selected for this program will work under the supervision of the Elder Program Directors, beginning in July. Activities will include developing grant proposals, creating fundraising methods, recruiting community volunteers, and collaborating with existing elder programs to target areas of need.

Qualifications are previous experience in grant/proposal writing, fundraising, program development and/or public speaking, proficiency in computer, writing, and verbal skills.