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Making a Difference as a Money Management Volunteer

Explotacion financiera

AARP Oregon has been a longtime supporter of the Money Management Programs here in Oregon. Easter Seals Oregon, the Oregon Department of Human Services and community service agencies work together to deliver the Oregon Money Management Program around the state. Trained volunteers help low-income older adults with daily money management tasks and make a difference in people’s lives by helping them remain as independent as possible. In as little as two-hours per month volunteers can help create financial stability, prevent homelessness, promote independence, and stop financial abuse, eviction, utility cut off, and loss of independence.

Currently the Clackamas Money Management Program, which is  managed by Clackamas County, is recruiting new volunteers who have a few hours a month to help low-income seniors and other at-risk adults who have no one in their lives who is able or appropriate to help.

Are you or do you know someone good at managing budgets and money? Do you have a few hours a week a help a neighbor and make a big difference in someone's life? Below you can read a story of one AARP member about her volunteer experience. You can also learn more about the program, here:

Interested? Attend a Volunteer Training

Attend a volunteer training in Oregon City on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, from 9 am – 3 pm. Interested parties should call 503-650-5623 or email by October 1  for registration information.

Jan’s Story:

In February 2006 AARP member Jan Elkins began volunteering with Clackamas County’s Money Management Program to become a representative payee. Here is how the program helped one of Jan’s clients.

One of my clients “Millie” was living at home with her adult children. She had unmanaged health issues and very poor memory. After being hospitalized due to a stroke, it became clear that Millie’s family was using her money, leaving her with very little.

Millie was referred to the Money Management Program by a state employee who had gotten involved due to the financial exploitation and health needs. Millie was moved into another facility and I was assigned as her volunteer representative payee. At one point, money started being deducted from Millie’s Social Security income, but nobody knew why. After much inquiry, we determined that Millie had not filed her taxes for three years. The IRS was deducting back taxes from her Social Security income, making her monthly income insufficient to pay rent. We were able to get the assistance of Legal Aid, who worked with Millie and both state and federal agencies to restore full payment of her Social Security benefits.

 I worked with Millie for over 5 years, until she died. I remember when I first met Millie she was lonely, but okay. With the help of the Money Management Program, she knew that her rent was always paid on time and she had the spending money she needed. It was a pleasure to work with her and to find her happy to see me whenever I visited.

 I first learned of the Money Management Program through AARP. I was looking for something to do with my time and talents. I feel that working with older people is one of my gifts to give, so when I got a notice in the mail, it sounded interesting and seemed like a good way to use my financial skills and can-do attitude. It has been very rewarding and I have learned a lot. I enjoy going to the in-service meetings as well, each time learning a little bit more from the other volunteer participants.

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