Archive for May, 2012
As our society has become more mobile, we are witnessing our senior citizens become more mobile as well. More and more seniors are uprooting out of their long-time homes and moving around the country, something that is vastly different than the norm where senior citizens would stay in one place for long periods of time, settling into the community and establishing roots. Here are ten reasons that have contributed to this phenomenon:
- They have chosen to downsize – Larger houses become too much to take care of as they get older, making it hard to keep up with all of the tedious house-keeping tasks. Plus, seniors generally don’t need as much space as they once did, making smaller spaces infinitely more attractive. And because some have lost spouses and are now alone, they may choose to eliminate a lot of their furniture and other possessions by giving them to their children, selling them, or giving them away. By downsizing their possessions they also end up needing to downsize their living space.
- They want convenience – Some seniors are moving into apartments or townhouses so they don’t have to do yard work or keep up their yard as they go through the various seasons, depending on the type of climate they live in. Moving to an apartment or townhome gives them the added benefit of having an association or grounds manager that will maintain their yards so they can still enjoy them without all the work.
- Moving into town becomes a great option – If they have lived in the country, they may want to move into town to be closer to shopping centers and medical facilities. There is also security in being closer to doctors and hospitals as they age and more medical issues arise. Plus, being in a town means they’ll have to do a lot less driving when they need to run their errands, and provides the additional option of public transportation.
- Retirement communities attract many seniors – 55+ communities offer more affordable housing options and social interaction with others their age. Many also have a lot of amenities which are right there in their neighborhood such as pools, exercise rooms, planned activities, and maybe even golf courses.
- Retirement gives them time to travel – Now that they are no longer employed, they have time to travel. Some seniors have chosen to sell almost everything and live in a RV and travel around the country. Other seniors choose to live in a RV to have the flexibility to volunteer for different organizations in different locations. Many of these organizations give them a place to stay while they do volunteer work for them, and then the seniors move on to another location. There are also opportunities for retirees who live in campers to work as hosts at campgrounds which give them a place to stay plus a little extra income.
- Snowbirds chose to move to warmer climates – As seniors start going south for the winter on a regular basis, they make connections in those areas and decide to move there to be closer to friends. They like the warm weather and get tired of living in two locations and having to maintain both places.
- Some choose to live near their children – There are a couple reasons why seniors choose to live near their children, such as they may need the help of their children, so they can stay home if they begin to fail physically or mentally. Or for others, they just may be tired of traveling to see their children and grandchildren and want to become part of their lives on a more regular basis, and so they choose to live near them.
- It’s a good time to experience new places – Now that they are free from working and are still healthy, it is a good time for senior citizens to take the plunge and live in that location they have always thought would they’d enjoy. With nothing holding them back, they may decide to take advantage of it while they can and make the move.
- Some actually take on a new vocation – Retirement income may not be sufficient to support some seniors in the lifestyle they desire. In this situation, they may relocate for employment opportunities.
- Assisted living or nursing homes become a necessity – This is probably the main reason seniors change addresses. They can no longer take care of themselves at home, so they make the hard decision, or it is made for them, to move into an environment where care is readily available.
It is a big decision for senior citizens to make the move to a new home or location, whether the decision is made from choice or out of necessity, despite how common it’s becoming.
We could all learn a thing or two about fundraising from churches. Few and far between are the organizations or individuals quite as adept at gathering large sums of cash, or in as many ways. Here is a list of ten unique ways churches raise money:
- Tithes – Sure, there are other groups that have membership fees and dues, but who else can point to their rulebook, and with a straight face demand 10% of your income? It’s not so much an entry fee to the pearly gates for most congregations, but what pays the bills.
- Bazaars – Some churches will sponsor bazaars or carnivals to raise money. Kiddie rides, concessions and game booths are a fun way for people to contribute to the cause. You can even volunteer to help out, making it a perfect time to practice being a carny.
- Car Washes – Many churches as well as schools will gather the congregation together in swim attire to offer car washes to the general public. Setting up several teams into interior and exterior squads helps move a lot of cars, and raises a lot of dough in a single day.
- Bake Sales – This is one of the more, shall we say, tasteful fundraising methods we’ve ever seen. The congregation can put together a selection that would be the envy of Sara Lee herself, and make a pretty penny selling it all.
- Bingo – One of the most popular, and profitable fundraising events, it will fill a hall with gleeful participants, and shouts of “Bingo!” faster than you can say I-25. Not all churches are willing to view this as good clean fun, however, and eschew this method.
- Raffles – Door prizes and gifts can be won with the purchase of a ticket. The holders of the winning ticket numbers go home with fabulous prizes. Can someone say, “Reverend Monty Hall”?
- Bible and Book Sales – Many churches have bookstores right in the building where members and guests may also purchase other merchandise including CD’s, apparel, games and gifts. This represents a significant source of fundraising for churches so equipped.
- Concerts and Events – Ticket sales to concerts, guest speakers, plays and shows are another form of fundraising which, for larger congregations, can mean some pretty large gate receipts. Some just ask for voluntary contributions, while others are more specific in the charges.
- Prayer – Sometimes it’s just a matter of asking for help, and like manna from heaven, it frequently pays off. It’s advisable to keep this technique going even when you don’t need the money, by the way.
- Solicitation – Whereas supplication involves going straight to the top, this method hits a little closer to home. Just ask the congregation to give ’til it hurts, and then maybe a little more. That’s how we make sure that those who haven’t got enough are taken care of.
No matter what method a church uses, it pretty much boils down to the same thing. Like any other non-profit organization, they need to keep the lights on and the employees paid. Raising money is often the only way they have of doing that.
The annual cost for disposing of junk mail in America runs well into the hundreds of millions of dollars, and for anyone with a mailbox this figure shouldn’t be all that surprising. The staggering amount of throwaway marketing mailings that we collect everyday may provide job security for postal workers, but it clogs the nation’s landfills and clutters our homes. The next time you check your mail, instead of chucking those papers sight-unseen into the garbage, why not give one of these fun ideas a try?
- Paper Mâché – While it’s certainly a surefire hit with the smaller set, adults can get in on the artsy fun with craft projects made from advertising circulars too, making it a fun project for the whole family. In addition to providing the paper necessary for your masterpiece, those sales papers can be spread across your work surface to protect it from drops of paste, making clean-up afterward quick and easy!
- Play Store With Sample Credit Cards – A cursory examination of sample credit cards sent out as a marketing tactic will almost always determine that the name is generic and the number invalid. After making sure that none of your personal information is imprinted on a plastic card, have a heyday playing “Store” with the smaller members of the family.
- Make Origami – The Japanese art of creating graceful objects from folding paper, known commonly as origami, can be a fun and relaxing way to spend idle time. A quick visit to your favorite search engine will turn up dozens of tutorials for creating everything from cranes to elaborate flowers.
- Teach Kids to Play Paper Football – One of the most beloved time-wasting institutions of childhood is Paper Football. Get yourself reacquainted with the proper folding techniques, and then teach youngsters to do the same. A brief run-down of the rules will have everyone giggling in no time.
- Customize Magnet Ads – Stripping the magnetic backing off of larger cardstock ads is the work of a moment; smaller printed magnets can be glued or painted over. Letting your imagination run wild will leave you with a diminished junk pile and a stylish refrigerator.
- Make Paper Pulp Beads – A quick tutorial for creating fashionable, customized beads for jewelry-making from paper pulp is easy to find online; a quick web search will no doubt turn up a full page of results. The next time inspiration strikes, hit that pile of junk mail for your paper supply!
- Start a Garden – Relatively inexpensive, paper pot makers are easy to find from online retailers and in gardening stores. Starting your plants from seed in recycled paper is a great way to boost your eco-friendly impact while reducing clutter.
- Make Your Own Recycled Paper – For advanced artists, the supplies and methods used to make recycled paper can get quite intricate. More casual crafters, however, may prefer to use an inexpensive paper recycling kit, which yields beautiful results for scrapbooking or card-making.
- Play a Prank – Perhaps not suitable for the younger members of the family, getting a laugh at the wasteful mailers’ expense can be a great way to blow off steam. Simply stuff the pre-paid envelopes with all of the rest of your junk mail after being sure that there’s no personal information enclosed. Though this paper is likely to end up in a landfill, the occasional envelope will get your point across while keeping a mail carrier employed.
- Create a Mosaic – While traditionally made of colored glass or tile, there’s no rule saying that mosaics can’t be made of brightly-colored bits of paper as well. Simply cut out your desired shape, and paste it to a heavier piece of cardstock. The results are sure to be stunning!
These are merely a small sampling of the things that you can do with your unwanted mail. Once you start, you’re sure to find dozen of your own clever uses!