In 1981 Lily was moved by seeing elderly people digging in trash bins and maneuvering hesitantly through busy city intersections. She decided to do something about making life easier for the area senior citizens and founded the Senior Assistance Center (SAC). Over the years, SAC has added a number of assistance programs, emergency financial services preventing eviction and utilities shut-off, providing for medical needs, food and emergency necessities, and low-cost, independent living facility at Winona Court. At the time Lily founded SAC, its approach to helping vulnerable senior citizens was unique in the Denver non-profit community.
Lily has always believed that dignity and respect, including self-respect, are the foundation of delivering services to the needy. For many, being as self-reliant as possible is essential to dignity. Therefore, in order to help as many seniors as possible, those who received assistance were encouraged to repay SAC through cash donations, if their situations made that possible, or through in-kind donations of volunteered time at SAC. Lily has felt that “a hand up is better than a hand out.”
She has also been adamant about hiring seniors for as many positions as possible at SAC, believing that seniors would be best qualified to serve their peers, and best accepted by those peers. For many seniors, working at SAC was an ideal way to maintain independence and self-sufficiency.
Today, a much broader-based SAC continues its charitable mission, providing much needed services to senior citizens. In the last few years, the SAC has seen changes in the demographics of its senior clients, as grandparents raising grandchildren sought assistance and seniors who had never lived in poverty found themselves needing to ask for help from SAC. SAC has served over one million. It distributed some 9,303 bags of food, donated 40 medical devices to those unable to buy or rent them, provided emergency financial assistance totaling $129,000 to 521 clients, gave out 300 blankets or articles of warm clothing and distributed 6,300 bus tokens.” After 28 years of service with SAC, Lily now runs Lily Organics in Brighton, Colorado.”
The Senior Assistance Center is a 501(c)(3) charitable institution recognized by the IRS. All donations are tax deductible.
Senior Assistance Center
| 2839 West 44th Avenue; Denver,CO 80211-1428 | Phone: 303-455-9642 | marketing@SeniorAssistanceCenter.org
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