Pictured Board of Directors back row: Christina Bertin, Joy Davis, Carole Zangla, Laura Clerkin, Kathy Bloomfield, Larry Berg, Lyn Tober, Alison Morgan, Priscilla Hindley. Front row: Claire Von Karls, Kay Kerr, Katy Curnyn
OAKS organization hosts annual meeting
On January 25th, OAKS (Organized Acts of Kindness for Seniors) held their annual meeting in the AHEAD Conference Room in Littleton, NH. The OAKS organization is currently being developed in the North Country by volunteers and partner organizations so that residents 55 and over can lead vibrant, active and healthy lives, while living in their own homes and neighborhoods. OAKS is a member of the national organization Village to Village network. To read more about the network visit www.vtvnetwork.org. The OAKS mission is to help seniors live independently in a happy, healthy, and safe environment. The three components of OAKS support for members includes one: connecting with services, two: offering healthy options, and three: organizing stimulating programs.
At the meeting, Board Chair Kathy Bloomfield introduced the board members and welcomed all attendees. She then spoke about what led her to become involved with OAKS. Kathy was on track for retirement in Bethlehem with her husband. They lived in the area for a year and a half when her husband died suddenly, in December 2016. Kathy was then alone, and she described her strong feeling of vulnerability. Shortly after her husband’s death, Kathy saw an article written by Kay Kerr in WREN’s magazine.
The article described a village and community of support designed for seniors. Kathy called her daughter right after reading that article and told her she didn’t have to worry anymore. Her mother was going to become involved with and join OAKS. She went to a foundational meeting shortly after that. “I wanted to be a part of the village, network, and community that OAKS is building,” she stated.
Organization Director addresses board and guests
Kay Kerr, who spearheaded and is now the Founding Director of OAKS, was next to address the attendees at the annual meeting. She explained how she became involved with OAKS. She said she became enthralled with the village to village concept where people came together as a community and supported each other as they aged. Kay said she knew people wanted services but needed an organization to support it. The Director thanked Michael Claflin of AHEAD for their support and assistance in formalizing the organization. Kay went on to cite the great progress all those working to get OAKS operational have made. The goal is to have volunteers ready and members in line for a soft launch mid-summer.
OAKS is led by a robust board of directors, many who are from local companies and organizations including AHEAD, Passumpsic Bank, Grafton County ServiceLink, NH Catholic Charities, Littleton Senior Center, WREN, and the Bethlehem Public Library. For more information about becoming a volunteer or a member contact OAKS by email email@example.com or call 603-575-5502.