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Goose Bumps from the Thrill of Hope April 18, 2010

Posted by Ageless Dreamer Foundation in Ageless Dreamer.
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When did you last experience the goose bumps from the thrill of hope?  It’s enough to make your heart skip a beat.  For us the thrill of hope arrived in an email announcing Ageless Dreamer as a semi-finalist for the www.ShowUsYourGoodness.com Program.  Imagine being one of 33 non profits out of 2800 applicants? And the ONLY New Hampshire non profit.  Any one can vote, just once, at the website above or through the www.AgelessDreamer.org web site.   $ 20,000. is the top prize, with two $ 5,000. prizes, and twelve $ 1,000. prizes. But the thrill of hope is one heck of a prize in itself.  We’re elated at the possibility.  Voting ends on April 30, so if you have 45 seconds to spare, please VOTE for Ageless Dreamaer to become one of the most inspiring charities.  You might also get to feel that utterly delicious thrill of hope!  Thanks for your vote, dear readers.  P.S. Don’t forget to try the Gourmet Brown Rice Crisps put out by the sponsoring company called RiceWorks.  Tough to select a favorite but the Parmesan & Sundried Tomato is a huge favorite with Sweet Chili next on my list.  Will try another flavor this week!

USA-GIVES and GIVES and GIVES August 8, 2009

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An amazing idea was born almost a year ago by a couple on the Seacoast. USA-GIVES believes that a million people in this great country will give $ 5. or $ 10. each to a non profit to build an endowment.  The definition of an endowment is also shown on their website. Well, looks like USA-GIVES is doing just that for Ageless Dreamer.  You can check out their website www.USA-GIVES.com  and their new blog!  Thank YOU, USA-GIVES!!

SAGE Advise April 4, 2009

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Talk about  weather that defined dreary and foggy – not doom and gloom, mind you, just dreary.   As we made the one hour drive to speak at a luncheon in Nashua, NH. we couldn’t help but wonder if anyone would show up.  Who said the over 65 age group were wimps about driving in lousy weather? Not this group. Ninety hearty souls ventured out to this once a month SAGE group, associated with St. Joseph’s Hospital.  Lunch was to be served up and Ageless Dreamer was the speaker du jour.

With microphone in hand the story began. The WHY’s of Ageless Dreamer.  Hmmmm…WHY’s and WISE sound alike.  Maybe there’s something to that. Anyway, the real magic happend when I invited one of the guests I brought with me to stand up to share her story at the microphone.  With a twinkle in her eye, Ruth led the audience to utter silence as she expressed her experience with Ageless Dreamer and how having her dream unfold, her first art gallery event exhibiting her oil paintings in 2006, changed her life.  The only sound that came from the audience was when she explained that all her friends had passed on — after all “I’m 96 years old”.  The gasp was audible. The giggles welcomed.   They thought THEY were the oldest ones in the room and Ruth just took their breath away.  Yup.  Ruth, the artist, who still teaches art lessons every week, empowered them to keep on dreaming.  One day at a time, one dream at a time.  You GO, Girl!

Copyright Laurie Widmark 2009

It was a good idea, not October 14, 2008

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Ageless Dreamer receives the update notices from NH’s United Way on a regular basis. A month or so ago I recieved one and read that a family trust had some gently used medical equipment: motorized scooter, wheelchair, $ 1,000 value bidet used only once, stair lift, scooter lift for car, and various other medical devices. O.K., I thought. We’re a non profit in desperate need of an alternative way to raise the big kahuna.  I’m an entrepreneur by nature….think outside the box. O.k. So, I call these folks and learn that they’ve been trying for months, since their Dad passed on, that they had no luck selling these items…even on e-bay.   What in the world made me think that Ageless Dreamer could do something with them? Greatest strength, greatest weakness.   My very patient, adoring, and generous husband agreed that we would make arrangements to pick up the items from the storage space they had been paying for for many months.  The family, rightfully so, wanted to “close the estate”, and these items were occupying space.  Ageless Dreamer, of course, doesn’t own storage space, but the Founder does have a business interest in a storage facility in  Dover, NH, and knows they could move the equiptment into space for probono. Perfect. They borrowed a box truck from a friend and picked up the “gently used” medical equipment with high hopes of finding an alternative, creative way to help fund Ageless Dreamer.

Fast forward, 45 days.  The Board of Directors of Ageless Dreamer is not impressed with the idea of the organization being  a warehouse for “gently used” medical equipment. O dear, what now.  So, I start keeping an ear and eye out for who we can sell/give this really good “gently used” equipment to.  Medicaid, or is it Medicare(?), evidently prefers to sell new “stuff” to those in need so they don’t care about this market.  Where in the world is that money coming from?  Anyways, Ageless Dreamer has  learned real fast that,  although there’s a real need for “gently used”, no one is willing to pay for it themselves.  Finally, in the end, we’ve found (although not yet gotten a follow up phone call from), two companies in the Concord/Manchester, NH area that will accept this “stuff”, refurbish it, and resell it at a “gentler price”….my words.  It makes me wonder: if the “gently used” stuff, which is less costly then “new”, cannot be sold because Medicare/caid won’t pay for it — will this “gently used”, perfectly good, acceptable “stuff” be put into the landfills. Who’s going to pay for that?  Our great grandchildren?

Before I forget, I must say that I called the Lions Club, Rye, NH. because I had heard over and over that accept “gently used” medical equipment, refurbish it, and then make it available, at no cost, to anyone who needs it.   Lo and behold, they had an overload, over-filled storage bin full that they couldn’t accept anymore.  Also, they determined, it was a full time job to handle the free rental/return.  It was a huge awakenining.  I’m writing this and hoping that someone, someplace is reading, and on the same page I am.

Copyright 2008 Laurie Widmark

Say what we mean, mean what we say October 14, 2008

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Lo and behold, if you ask enough people you’ll get an answer.  The good thing is that we have extraordinarly good Board of Directors, who are thinking all the time.  One of them, Tammy Svenson, who works with Dr. John Hopkins at Bellamy Fields in Dover, NH, was insightful enough to forward the website for Ageless Dreamer on to a friend who has immense experience in paying attention to non profit (that’s an understatement) websites.  The reply was initially exciting because it was from someone we didn’t know, and then depressing because it was from someone who knew an amazing amount about non profit websites and saw our weaknesses.  It’s one of those be careful what you wish for moments.  The two top observations I’ve already mentally struggled with: is the website trying to get the attention of our oldest generation OR the adult children, grandchildren, care-givers?  Ahhhhh, we need to do both, and time is of the essence.

Copyright 2008 Laurie Widmark