Enriching Lives As We Age

Archive for the ‘Volunteer’ Category

Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. (PVI) Statement on “Skinny Budget” Blueprint

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Dear Friends of PVI,

Recently, the initial details of the President’s 2018 budget blueprint have emerged and have started an important conversation on social media platforms as well as both large and small media outlets across the country. Because of the essential work and impact that our Meals on Wheels program provides here in San Mateo County, any threatened budget cuts must be looked at carefully and responded to promptly.As CEO of Peninsula Volunteers, Inc., I am working with our team here as well as officials in San Mateo County to respond to any budget cuts that may be proposed. It is important to remember that as of right now, these budget cuts are just being proposed. We are in the beginning stages of the process and there is still a long way to go. In this non-stop news cycle and social media reality we live in, it’s our responsibility not only to stand up for these services, but also to speak about what we know, not what may be projected in the media. I’ve summarized what we know so far in the bullet points below.

What: On March 16, the President sent his Budget Blueprint, also known as the “America First Budget” or “Skinny Budget” to Congress, with a plan to release further details in the coming months. The blueprint proposed cuts to discretionary spending in order to pay for increased defense spending starting in October. The Department of Health and Human Services could receive a budget cut across the board, as well as face the reduction or elimination of specific programs. Both sets of cuts could impact Meals on Wheels and Rosener House. The Blueprint does not yet say which HHS programs will be cut, so we do not know how our programs will be affected.

Who is Impacted? Every day, PVI’s Meals on Wheels program provides over 500 meals to seniors throughout San Mateo County, delivered by volunteers and PVI staff. This comes out to over 2,500 meals a week, served to over 850 needy seniors. For many of these seniors, Meals on Wheels is their only source of food.Client Benefits: Our Meals on Wheels program offers more than just fresh, hot nutritious meals. The program is also the most reliable way for our clients to fight the isolation of growing older alone – 40% of the seniors we serve live alone. Our program also provides our clients with quarterly health and nutrition assessments, referrals to needed community services, and dietary counseling. Our delivery personnel provide wellness checks and weekend meals also available.

Budget Details: The “Skinny Budget” proposes the elimination of the $3 Billion Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) program, one of the sources of funding for Meals on Wheels pro- grams around the country. In our case, CBDG gives us $22,500 of funding annually, about 1.5% of our MOW program and grant revenue. More importantly for us, detailed plans for a key source of our program’s funding, the Older Americans Act (OAA), have not yet been released. The OAA provides 35% of the total funding for Meals on Wheels nationally. For our MOW program, the percentage is about 45% of program and grant revenue. OAA funds also provide about 9% of the program and grant revenue for our Rosener House senior day care services. With a proposed 17.9% cut to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services budget , which funds the OAA, PVI would need to secure an additional $161,000 in community support on top of the generous donations we already recieve.

The Need is Growing: Aside from any proposed changes to Federal funding, the need for our services is exponentially growing. This past January, we expanded our service territory to North San Mateo County so that we are now the sole MOW provider for almost all of the county. Our program is critical. According to the Healthy Community Collaborative of San Mateo County, many seniors face hunger every day: 1 in 8 seniors must choose between paying rent, buying medication, or purchasing food.

A Bipartisan History of Supporting Seniors: Ironically, the month of March honors the signing and enhancement of the Older Americans Act by President Richard Nixon on March 22, 1972. Meals on Wheels programs around the country celebrate this historic, bi-partisan bill through the annual March For Meals campaign, which we are marking with our own commemorative event on March 22. We await more details on the proposed Federal budget, and we are ready to advocate for home-bound seniors here in San Mateo County and across the country.

Together, we must do everything that we can to spread the news about these budget cut proposals. We at Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. are glad that we have a commitment from our Congressional representatives to funding the OAA. We also have donors committed to keeping our program going. It will not be easy, but we are all in this together.

What Can You Do to Support:

Donate:   http://www.penvol.org/donate/
Volunteer: http://www.penvol.org/volunteer/
Call your elected representatives: http://mealsonwheelsamerica.org/findyourofficials
Advocate: Please share this message with friends and family


Peter Olson
CEO Peninsula Volunteers, Inc.

Peter Olson Appointed CEO for Peninsula Volunteers, Inc.

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Peninsula Volunteers Inc. (PVI), a non-profit organization serving older adults on the mid-Peninsula, is pleased to announce the appointment of Peter Olson as its new Chief Executive Officer.  Serving as PVI’s Director of Little House, The Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center, since 2010, Peter is ideally suited to provide leadership for PVI as it enters into its next chapter of expanding services and evolving to meet the needs of today’s seniors.

As CEO Peter will oversee Peninsula Volunteers‘ four major programs:
1) Meals on Wheels providing over 78,000 hot, nutritious meals yearly to home-bound older adults in San Mateo County;  2) Rosener House , Adult Day Services providing a therapeutic activity program for over 150 clients and respite care for 400+ family caregivers; 3) Little House, The Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center, providing an extensive array of services centered on health, wellness, and social interaction to over 3,500 community members annually; 4) Senior Housing in Menlo Park currently providing 82% of the affordable housing for community seniors;.

“I am excited to lead Peninsula Volunteers into its eighth decade,” said Peter Olson, CEO of PVI.  “Since opening its doors in 1947, PVI has been providing quality, innovative services and housing for the aging adults in Menlo Park and beyond, and it thrills me to carry this legacy forward.”

“We are delighted that Peter Olson has agreed to accept the role of CEO and lead Peninsula Volunteers in addressing the ever evolving needs of our growing senior population,” said Susan Sweeney, outgoing Board Chair of PVI.  “His excellent nonprofit leadership skills, his enthusiasm and ability to work effectively with a wide variety of individuals and organizations, and his vision and breadth of understanding of our senior community and the opportunities ahead for PVI make Peter the perfect leader in moving the organization forward in its expanding community role.”

In addition to his experiences at PVI, Peter has over 25 years of experience working in the not-for-profit sector, specifically older adults, individuals with special needs, and children. Peter’s professional experience includes the Director, Public Affairs and Communications for Easter Seals Bay Area and the Health and Wellness Director at the Easter Seals Timpany Center in San Jose. A graduate of San Jose State University, Peter enjoys the active outdoor lifestyle of the San Francisco Peninsula, spending time fishing, backpacking, cycling and is dedicated to spending time with his daughter.

Started by a group of forward thinking community leaders in 1947, PVI is a pioneer in providing high quality programs for Peninsula seniors, enabling them to maintain their dignity, independence, and sense of usefulness.  During the last year the PVI board and staff have been working with community leaders to align the services of Little House more closely to the needs of a changing senior population.


About Peninsula Volunteers, Inc.
Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. is a pioneer serving older adults. Through its programs – Meals on Wheels, Rosener House Adult Day Services, and the Little House, Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center, – more than $5 million in services are delivered each year to 4,500 households, including 150,000 hot meals to seniors and the homebound.  Peninsula Volunteers Properties (PVP) provides 82% of the affordable senior housing in Menlo Park.

PVI World: Meals on Wheels Drivers Needed!

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Volunteering is an important aspect of many people’s lives. It is good for your mind, can help you feel more fulfilled, connect you to others, and give you a sense of purpose. Overall, it gives people a good feeling that they can only receive by helping someone else.


PVI could not function without our volunteers. They are an active part of all our programs, from the lunch servers at Little House to senior companions at Rosener House to packers and drivers for Meals on Wheels. As our programs grow to serve more seniors we always need additional help. Meals on Wheels is doubling their service area, with 100 more meals being delivered each day. With 1 in 7 seniors struggling with hunger, this expansion lets us reach a whole new group of seniors. Our program is able to deliver hot meals to seniors who live alone and are not able to shop or cook because of illnesses, disabilities, etc. We deliver in San Mateo County from San Bruno to East Palo Alto.



How can you help?

We are in need of more drivers for each weekday to provide hot meals to a growing group of seniors. We require volunteers to be available between 9:30 AM to 12 PM and to use their own vehicle and gasoline. If you are interested in volunteering as a Meals on Wheels driver or have any questions, please contact Victoria Cormack at vcormack@peninsulavolunteers.org or 650-326-0665 ext. 5108


Thoughts? Leave a comment below!

Raymond’s Health & Well Being, Supported by Meals on Wheels

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

“Some are more unfortunate than I am. I am so grateful for the Meals on Wheels program.” These are the words spoken by Raymond, an 85-year old Redwood City man and current client with PVI’s Meals on Wheels program.

Raymond was born in 1930 in Detroit, Michigan. In 1971, he moved to Redwood City to take care of his aging father until he passed away in 1982. He worked as a computer programmer for a military defense company in Belmont, and after his father’s death, he became an avid traveler, visiting friends in Brazil and the Dominican Republic. His work and traveling came to an abrupt end in 1985, when Raymond suffered a heart attack on the job. His condition required
surgery, and from there, Raymond’s health continued to decline.

Over the years, he suffered from numerous effects of the procedure resulting in the insertion of a pacemaker and an additional surgery to replace a portion of his heart. Raymond steadily lost weight—close to 30 pounds. He could not prepare food for himself and became dependent on canned foods. His doctor became concerned that Raymond was suffering from malnutrition.

Additionally, the doctor realized that Raymond lived alone and didn’t drive, so she referred him to PVI’s Meals on Wheels program. Raymond has been a Meals on Wheels client for a little over a year. In that time, his diet has improved, he is no longer malnourished, and he says that he “hasn’t touched one of those cans.” Raymond smiled and shared that the Meals on Wheels program “doesn’t just deliver a hot, nutritious meal.” Rather, the volunteer drivers spend time chatting with him, engaging in conversation, which is often the only contact he has with anyone during the day. “Meals on Wheels saved my life…and now that I feel healthier, I enjoy my days much more!”

Student beats summertime blues at Rosener House

Monday, June 1st, 2015
Pooja Goel, 16 and a student at Castilleja School in Palo Alto, has been volunteering at Rosener House Adult Day Center since she was in eighth grade.

Rosener House, a program of Peninsula Volunteers, Inc., is a model adult day program that provides therapeutic activities to older adults facing challenges and limitations including Alzheimer’s and other dementia, early memory loss, stroke, as well as other chronic conditions. What began as a parental directive became passion for the honor student who started a club specifically to benefit the Rosener House participants. On any given Wednesday, the students can be found helping serve lunch, working on art projects and in general helping the participants enjoy their Rosener House experience.


Here is Pooja’s experience in her own words: I started volunteering at the Rosener House when I was in 8th grade. My mom was tired of seeing me sitting around at home all day during the summer, so she forced me to look for something better to do with my time. I searched up “volunteering opportunities” in the bay area, and came across the Rosener House. The first day I arrived, I sat in a room and put letters into envelopes for a mass mailing; it wasn’t nearly as exciting as I thought it would be. I was disappointed to hear that I wouldn’t be able to interact with the seniors as I hoped, but nonetheless, I came back the next day. I started coming in more and more, and I got to know all of the staff members. They all were so passionate about what they did, and I learned something new every day. Pretty soon it didn’t matter whether I was filing or entering in data in the computer, because I knew that I was making a difference in the lives of others. Before I knew it, I was able to interact with the participants, and I can honestly say that becoming friends with them has been one of the most eye opening experiences in my life. I have heard war veterans talk about their pain in WW2, and I have heard someone tell me about their journeys as a former journalist. Although many of the participants have dementia, they are always willing to have a great time. Seeing them get so excited by the littlest things in life has allowed me to look at the brighter side of things. I cannot even imagine how hard it must be for them to not be able to remember the details in their life, but they still make the best out of every situation. This year I started a club in my school and we come to the Rosener House almost every Wednesday to do various activities with the participants. I wanted to share my experiences with others, and allow them to form the amazing bonds I did. Everyone absolutely loved it, and we look forward to continuing our partnership next year!

For more information about Peninsula Volunteers, Inc., Rosener House, visit www.penvol.org or call 650.322.012

Castilleja high school students visit participants at Rosener House Adult Day center. They belong to a school club that supports Rosener House

Rosener Open House

Thursday, November 13th, 2014


Come experience our adult activity program in action!

There will be classes led by professional staff, informational sessions with our social work staff, and our Registered Nurse and therapists will be available.

Rosener House is celebrating 36 years of care for adults with challenges, including post-stroke, Parkinson’s, mild cognitive impairment or dementia.

500 Arbor Road, Menlo Park / 650-322-0126

Saturday, May 9th

10:00 am-1:00 pm

Volunteering – It’s What We Do!

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Looking for a way to give back to the community? Peninsula Volunteers is always looking to provide those opportunities. Check out our current volunteer openings below at Little House:

  • Community Services Desk – Provide information and referrals about issues such as housing, food, transportation and other social services over the phone or in person.
  • Front Desk Receptionist – Great and interact with members and guests, answer questions regarding classes and activities, and help maintain the Little House image.
  • Lunch CashierRun the cash register during lunch hours; ring up sales, handle money and tally the daily receipts.

To learn more about these positions call (650)322-0129 or email volunteer@peninsulavolunteer.org.

For a full list a volunteer opportunities visit http://www.penvol.org/volunteer/



Pick Your Restaurants for Dine Out

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Click the plate icon below to view a full list of participating restaurants.


The Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Support the Rosener House Walkers and the Alzheimer’s
Association at the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” on September 20, 2014.

San Francisco, Mission Creek Park

(5th and Berry, near Caltrain station)

Check-In opens 8 am.  Walk starts 10 am.

Go to the Alzheimer’s Association website

and support the “Rosener House Walkers” team.

Volunteers Recognized at RSVP Luncheon

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Volunteers are often the building blocks for any non-profit organization. Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. is no different! Community Volunteers were honored at a recognition luncheon for Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) members of the San Mateo County. Among those recognized was Angela Owen, a Little House volunteer, who has served her community for over 20 years! Angela received The Presidential Volunteer Service-Lifetime Achievement Award which is given to volunteers who have contributed at least 4,000 community service hours. Thank you Angela!

To learn about how you can make a difference in the lives of others, visit http://www.penvol.org/volunteer/.