From the Desk of Diana N. Edmonson, Executive Director
Dreams are what success is made of. What began as a dream in the hearts of a few people has now become a reality. What began with one staff employee and a $10,000 dollar budget has grown to 79 staff members and a 8.6 million dollar budget for FY15. What began as two lunch sites serving approximately 50 meals daily, between both sites, has grown to over 200 meals being served at five lunch sites and over 650 meals being delivered to homebound at-risk elderly. What began as one or two homes being opened for socialization and bingo games is now five multi-purpose senior centers, five lunch sites, and two activity centers. Terrebonne Council on Aging (TCOA) host yearly parish-wide social interaction events held in giant halls, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners, Mardi Gras Balls, etc. We also host yearly state and town meetings and health forums with hundreds in attendance.
TCOA has parterned with the parish since 1992 to do all it can to help residents after local disasters and is committed to taking a pro-active stance in disaster assistance. At this time, TCOA has a tri-fold mission to assist the parish. The three areas TCOA has chosen to participate in are pre-registration for parish residents who may need assistance in evacuating, transportation, and warehousing.
TCOA is entering a new era in which senior citizens are the fastest growing segment of the population. As we assist the elderly, we are also focusing on the younger, active senior citizens. They must be educated in advance about the importance of volunteering and investing their time with the Council on Aging. This investment will assure them of a secure and creative old age. With proper educational efforts, old age may finally get equal billing with the earlier stages of life, or an even higher status, instead of being treated as a period marked by decline. It is time for old age to come out of the shadows and into the sunshine of life, where it belongs. As Winston Churchill once stated, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Times are always changing, and it is my dream to stay abreast of these changing times by providing new and innovative programs and services, as needs arise. Strong inter-agency coalitions and strong community relations are needed to stay on the cutting edge of progress. It is also my dream to extend the fabric of care and affirm the dignity of growing old as TCOA becomes a caregiver in the journey of life. These dreams can only be fulfilled with the building of good partnerships with the great people of Terrebonne, the “Good Earth Parish.”
-Diana N. Edmonson