Every year about this time, those nonprofits among us who rely on funding that flows through the state of California begin to hold our breath. Why, you ask? Because the state budget isn’t signed and because we are dependent on those funds to do the work we do. It isn’t just state funding; it is also federal funds that simply “flow through” the state, then trickle down to the nonprofits doing the work that needs to be done. And, until a state budget is signed and in place, that funding just sits somewhere out of our reach. Of course, we all know the state budget hasn’t been signed and in place by the July 1 deadline in anyone’s recent memory (maybe even in anyone living today’s lifetime) so we all plan for the delay in funding by negotiating with our vendors to be patient with us and securing and utilizing lines of credit. This year is different. This year is very different. We’re hearing projections of October and November before the budget is signed. We can’t wait that long. We have contingencies in place to get us through August, at best, but that’s about it. After all, it’s not like we can just close down our program until the funding starts to flow again. We have seniors depending on us to feed them and check in on them every day (the Meals on Wheels program). For some, this is the only social contact they have; and, sadly, for some, this is their only meal. We have seniors who need a hand getting to the grocery store, a medical appointment – frequently they are life-sustaining medical appointments, to visit a sick friend. We have seniors, who have a broken water pipe, a toilet that suddenly stops working or their swamp cooler isn’t working and it’s 105 degrees outside. We have caregivers and family members who need to know about resources in order to face the daunting task ahead of them. Although we depend heavily on volunteers to accomplish much of what needs to be done, it still takes money, lots of money. We are all feeling the pinch in our wallets when we go to the grocery store, food prices have soared over the past year; try grocery shopping for 500, each and every day – ouch! Then there is the price of gas, we all know what that feels like – most of our services involve the utilization of gas – to the tune of close to 700 miles per day. I’m sure you get the picture. We need financial support to see us through until the state budget is passed. I’m asking for your financial support here. Please send a donation (if you can) to Seniors First, 11566 D Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 and remember: To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world. Make yourself a blessing to someone. – Josephine Billings – Candace Roeder is the executive director of Seniors First, a nonprofit senior services agency whose mission is to keep seniors independent. Mail your senior-related questions to A Time For Seniors, c/o Seniors First, 11566 D Ave., Auburn, CA, 95603, e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 889-9500, ext. 203. Please include your name and phone number with your questions.