Grassroots advocates for senior citizen concerns
Myrtle Danielson of Cambridge has been a member of the Seven County Senior Federation for several years, but she recently became more involved when she was asked to hold Isanti County’s vice president role on the board. With that deeper involvement, she was surprised there’s a lot of people who have never heard of the Federation.
So Danielson, a past Isanti Co. Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Year, began working harder to inform her fellow seniors and increase membership.
As described in the group’s mission statement, the Seven County Senior Federation “is dedicated to creating a democratic grassroots organization which trusts the common sense of its members…(It) develops member benefits that enhance an independent, affordable and dignified lifestyle for seniors.”
“Independence” is at the crux of the Federation. More Isanti County delegates to the Federation are Arlene Morgan and Ken Reine.
“There is a lot of material out there that people need to be aware of, such as Senior Partners Care where if people within certain income guidelines can go through the Federation and get help with their medical expenses,” explained Danielson. “A lot of people aren’t aware that there is help out there if they can’t afford something. Applicants must have Part A and B of Medicare in order to qualify for that, and most people do.”
Danielson continued, “The Seven County Senior Federation also has Outreach Coordinator Lisa Krahn who will come down to the Cambridge Library or travel to other sites around the seven counties to help people with their taxes, with medical questions or other questions. Help is out there for our older citizens for a $12 per year membership.”
The Federation holds a once-a-month meeting of vice presidents in Mora (second Thursday of each month), discussing such things as senior issues at the Legislature. Danielson then updates local members at the Cambridge Senior Activity Center (SACs) afterward to keep them informed (next one is Wednesday, July 18, 12:30 p.m.).
“I will say the Federation is very organized. I was very impressed with that when I became a vice president this past April,” she added.
Funds for the Seven County Senior Federation are raised through the One More Time thrift stores– the original one located in Mora and the new-in-2012 store in Isle. If there is a surplus of funds, donations are made to local community groups.
This past Friday, Danielson donated a $200 check from the Federation to the Family Pathways Food Shelf (located on East Hwy. 95 in Cambridge). Those funds will help stock the shelves and new freezers Family Pathways recently had installed at their facility.
In addition, the Seven County Senior Federation will donate $200 to the Isanti County Food Pantry (located at First Baptist Church in Cambridge) and $100 to the Braham Area Food Shelf (found at Tusen Tack).
• A great way to learn more about the Seven County Senior Federation is by attending the 2012 Potluck at the Hinckley Community Center on Thursday, Aug. 9. Free music, fellowship, food & fun, with doors opening at 9 a.m. and raffle at 2 p.m. Information also available online at www.7countyseniors.com or by calling 1-866-679-4700.
THE SEVEN COUNTY SENIOR FEDERATION
• Made up of– and working for– senior citizens in Aitkin, Carlton, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs and Pine counties
• Member of the Greater Minnesota Health Care Coalition
• Offers free guidance & troubleshooting on Medicare and Social Security issues
• Offers Defensive Driving 55+ classes to help on auto insurance discounts
• Operates ‘One More Time’ thrift stores in Mora and Isle