Friends of the Up-Island Council on Aging

Dear Friends of the Friends,


The Friends of the Up-Island Council on Aging work to supplement the many offerings that Howes House provides to promote the well-being of the more than 2000 up-island seniors.


For those of you who are not familiar with all the services provided at Howes House, the enclosed listing will give you an idea of the variety and depth of programs. Over 1000 Vineyarders (including year-round and seasonal) were served individually or participated in group activities in 2018. In addition to individual help with sorting out health insurance and prescription insurance, the staff provides expert advice on many issues confronting seniors. Fitness programs, bridge, discussion groups, writers’ group, fish from the Bass Derby, all are part of the senior center offerings. In addition, some 42 non-profits utilize the Howes House facilities. So, services are community-wide, not just for seniors.


We ask your continued support for our efforts as the Friends of the Up-Island Council on Aging. The Friends support the annual cookout, the lobster picnic at Menemsha, funding and refreshments for cultural events, and landscaping around Howes House. This year we funded the new Council on Aging sign above the porch of Howes House and refinishing the tables in the program room. We also sponsor trips off-island for seniors from all the towns to attend plays and other entertainments in Boston or Providence. Our biggest expense at this time is providing supplemental grants for food and utilities for seniors who are in need. Vineyard winters can be long and hard, as you all know, and sometimes the available State and other grants are just not enough to get people through. So, with the expert and discreet work of the Council’s professional staff, vouchers are made available for those who need funds for groceries or heat. This supplement has made a big difference for our neighbors who need the extra help.