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The Greater Maple Valley Community Center is one of the most effective ways to support and invest in our community. GMVCC would like to thank the Maple Valley community for their investment and partnership in Community Center programs.

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United Way Budget Cuts

Local community centers lose fundingLocal community centers face United Way budget cuts

This is an excerpt from an article in the Covington | Maple Valley | Black Diamond Reporter on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 9:59am

The Greater Maple Valley Community Center has recently lost a significant amount of funding it was receiving from United Way. Previously the center received $60,000 a year, which was split between the senior programs and teen programs. In July, it lost the $30,000 for the senior programs, Mark Pursley said, Executive Director of the Greater Maple Valley Community Center.

The community center has been waiting months to hear back from United Way to see how much it will be cutting next year. Each month United Way representatives state they will let the community center know, but they keep pushing it back to the following month, Pursley said. This has taken a major toll on the seniors in the area since the funding was cut. The most impacted program was the senior nutrition program. Seniors were able to get food three days a week, and most of the time, there was enough leftover food that they could take some home.“We were able to feed seniors a significant amount,” Pursley said. “We liked knowing we had leftovers for them to take home to sometimes hold them over until they could get food from us again.” But now, seniors might have to find other ways of getting food. The ironic thing Pursley said, is that United Way is focusing more on homelessness. If these seniors have to spend money on food, they won’t have money for rent, therefore making them homeless.

Online donation system by ClickandPledgeRight now, the community center is looking at various grant funding plans, but they are getting more and more difficult to find, Pursley said. Many people are worried about the younger generation, but there should be just as much concern with the older generation, Pursley said. “Our seniors are just as vulnerable as kids and the homeless,” Pursley said. “They don’t have the safety net they used to.” Most seniors don’t have family or someone to care after them in the area, so they are on their own. Pursley blames it on our mobile generation. Families are more spread apart, so where families used to live a lot closer to each other, they all now live in different parts of the country, Pursley said. Pursley recently heard a phrase he had not heard before, that really made him think. He heard the phrase “elderly orphans.” Which refers to the elderly who do not have immediate family readily available to look after them.“We would do anything for children who are orphans, so why not for the elderly who are orphans?” Pursley said.

Senior programs at the community center were just as important to them as teen programs or any other programs for the younger kids in the community.Pursley can say they won’t be eliminating any programs just yet, they are filling gaps and moving some money around. Only time will tell if the center will have to eliminate any programs if they don’t receive the funding they need.

United Way budget cuts are also affecting the Black Diamond Community Center. Read more »