ACAP presents rural best practices to AARP Foundation in D.C.

10 years ago

ACAP presents rural best practices
to AARP Foundation in D.C.

    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine Earlier this year, Aroostook County Action Program was contacted by AARP Foundation’s assistant national director to participate in a series of teleconferences with other agencies around the country who serve the 50-plus population to discuss best practices in rural service delivery.

In the U.S., 13.7 percent of the population is 65 and older, while that segment represents 17 percent of Maine’s overall population and 20 percent of Aroostook County’s population. Many challenges are present for those living in rural northern Maine, including severe winter weather and lack of public transportation. These challenges are often more dearly felt by seniors.
Torry Eaton, senior manager for ACAP’s Employment and Training Division, was tapped to represent ACAP in these teleconferences. Over 100 organizations took part in the sessions. After two sessions, 30 organizations — one of which was ACAP — were asked to come to Washington, D.C. to meet with officials with the AARP Foundation.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as health care, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The AARP Foundation, AARP’s affiliated charity, is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50-plus by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. By coordinating responses to these issues on all four fronts at once, and supporting them with vigorous legal advocacy, the Foundation serves the unique needs of those 50-plus while working with local organizations nationwide to reach more people, strengthen communities, work more efficiently and make resources go further.
All in all, 23 organizations from Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland and more spent an entire day giving overviews of their organizations, geography, demographics, populations served, organizational strengths and best rural practices. Group discussions were held on effective practices, challenges faced and future collaborations.
Eaton said of the trip, “One of ACAP’s main strengths is our partnerships within the communities we serve. ACAP made connections with other rural agencies around the country. Their challenges are not unlike our own here in rural northern Maine. It was quickly apparent that service agencies today cannot afford to stay inside the box. After attending this work session, ACAP can put some of the practices and strategies to use in our area. ACAP will continue to be a champion of partnerships in Aroostook County. We will endeavor to strengthen existing partnerships and to establish new ones to make life better for our clients.”
For more information on Aroostook County Action Program, Inc. and its programs or services, or to make a tax-deductible contribution, contact the agency at 711 Main St., Presque Isle, visit the web at, or call 764-3721.