Churches, other faith-based groups needed to help older Alabamians

FROM STAFF REPORTS

We are all facing ongoing and unprecedented challenges since the COVID-19 pandemic. Older Alabamians have faced even greater challenges over these last several months, considering their high risk of COVID exposure, and their inability to visit their local senior center, entertainment venues, or church activities. This has created a perfect storm for our aging residents to become socially isolated, disconnected, and in need of additional support.

The Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging (M4A) provides several programs and services for older individuals and is looking to partner with local churches to help make a difference in the lives of our 60-plus population during these challenging times.

“M4A has recently received some new federal dollars, and we will have small grants available for faith-based organizations who apply this fall to support older individuals in the M4A region,” said Carolyn Fortner, M4A’s Executive Director. “We are excited to partner with our local congregations to help us identify and bring support and supplies to our older residents in need of extra help during the pandemic.”

M4A will host its first Virtual Faith in Action Community Resource event to share information about how faith-based leaders and their congregation can tap into these grant funds to assist older residents who may or may not be a member of their congregation, but live in their local community and need help during the pandemic. The event will be conducted via zoom on Sept. 1 from 9-10 a.m.

“It is through these public-private partnerships, such as with churches and other faith-based organizations, that makes all the difference for us to be able to help older individuals who have been socially isolated and disconnected from their communities get the help they need to remain independent and safely at home,” Fortner said.

M4A is seeking more opportunities for public-private partners to get involved with their organization and serve others in need. If you are interested in registering for the Faith in Action Virtual event, contact Holley Thacker at 205-670-5770 or hthacker@m4a.org. More information about M4A can be found on their website at M4a.org.