Fairfax Area Agency on Aging Recognized for Innovative Programming by National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
The Fairfax County Department of Family Services’ Fairfax Area Agency on Aging was awarded two Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. The awards were presented at the organization’s annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee at an award ceremony on July 22.
The awards recognize the agency’s collaboration in two programs: Venture into Volunteering and the Korean Senior Information Line. Sharon Lynn, assistant director of the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging, accepted the award for the Korean Senior Information Line and Trina Mayhan-Webb, regional volunteer manager for the agency’s Volunteer Solutions Program, accepted the award for Venture into Volunteering.
Venture into Volunteering is a volunteer recruitment project that recruits boomers and older people to volunteer for county and non-profit agencies. The project sponsored volunteer fairs in Alexandria and Springfield in 2007 and in Herndon on May 2008. Over 600 people attended the events and 70 agencies sent representatives to showcase their opportunities.
Director of the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging Grace Starbird said, “Fairfax County’s 50+ Action Plan is clear: ‘Engaged older adults benefit us all – fulfilling opportunities for engagement to ensure a vibrant community.'” She added, “There is incredible talent and skill among the boomers and older adults in our community and we are fortunate that so many are willing to contribute time and energy volunteering.”
Venture into Volunteering was jointly sponsored by the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging, Volunteer Fairfax, the Retired Senior and Volunteer Program and the Fairfax County Library.
The Korean Senior Information Line (703-324-3543), a collaborative program of the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging and Korean community nonprofits, helps Korean speaking older people access government and community information and services with the assistance of trained Korean speaking volunteers. The program operates out of the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday-Friday. It serves over 30 Korean speaking older people each month.
The agency worked with the Korean Community Service Center of Greater Washington, the Korean Central Senior Center and SeniorNavigator.org to develop the program. The Korean community organizations continue to recruit volunteers and publicize the program.
“We are delighted that our Korean Senior Information Line is receiving national recognition,” said Lynn. “Its success shows the benefits of forming partnerships with multicultural community nonprofits to reach non-English speaking older adults,” she added.
The Korean Senior Information Line was replicated later in 2007 by the Vietnamese Senior Information Line, another collaborative effort of the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging and local multicultural community organizations.
The agency’s efforts to engage boomers and older adults in volunteering and to expand culturally appropriate services to older adults aligns with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ Fairfax 50+ Action Plan 2007 for creating services for “a more aging friendly community tomorrow.” The plan can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/olderadults.
The Fairfax Area Agency on Aging is part of the Department of Family Services’ Division of Adult and Aging Services. The division serves older adults, caregivers, and people with disabilities in Fairfax County and the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church.
Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. To request this information in an alternate format, call Department of Family Services’ Fairfax Area Agency on Aging at 703-324-5411 or TTY 703-449-1186.