Inspired by other’s struggles staying financially afloat and the desire to make a difference, many new volunteers have approached the AARP Foundation’s Money Management Program (MMP) in Oregon to help start or support programs in their community.
By 2011, MMP expects to have 11 programs available in Oregon, including recently launching programs with local partners in Grants Pass and Roseburg. It is managed and overseen by Easter Seals Oregon, in conjunction with the local community service organizations.
Lower-income older adults and people with disabilities can get assistance with basic household finance through MMP. Volunteers work with clients, either to assist them with paying bills and balancing their checkbook or as the designated representative payee to manage their federal benefits, like Social Security.
“The Money Management Program plays a critical role in meeting community needs and changing demographics, and to helping more older adults remain independent in their own homes and keeping the doors shut to fraud and abuse,” said Jerry Cohen, state director of AARP Oregon.
There are 330 volunteers serving clients in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Multnomah, and Wasco Counties. And work is currently underway to establish new programs in Columbia, Linn/Benton, and Marion Counties.
“Volunteers get a great deal of satisfaction from working with people in the community,” said Carol Cookson, state coordinator for Oregon’s Money Management Program. “Our volunteers develop relationships and even friendships with their clients, many have been with the program for more than 15 years and have multiple clients.”
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