The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

Community Bits

Peer counselors sought for Sandoval County senior program

—DEBBIE TRUJILLO, OUTCOMES, INC.
Peer counselors for the elderly make a big difference. If your heart calls you to help other elders, join in a transformative process yourself, and make new friends, then Sandoval Senior Connection may be the program for you. Our service area is Sandoval County, and we look for seniors ages fifty-five and older to visit with others their same age. We begin another twenty-one-hour training session this fall, starting October 23 and ending November 15. Training sessions are held at different sites in Sandoval County on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Volunteer peer counselors are usually assigned one client to visit on a weekly basis. We address issues including stress, depression, loneliness, health problems, and lifestyle changes.

With certificate in hand, time to spare, and care for the elders in your heart, you can join our quality and fun team. Volunteers may also serve in other capacities: speaking at senior centers, leading a storytelling group, or assisting with administrative tasks. We ask for a commitment of two to three hours per week after graduation.

An informational luncheon for prospective volunteers will be held October 18 from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the PNM community room in Bernalillo. Please call Cindy Anderson or Debbie Trujillo at 243-2551 for more information on the training, the program, or to register for the luncheon.

$2.5 million in funds to protect Native women

New Mexico’s Indian communities will receive more than $2.5 million to stop violence against women and address the needs of victims. The funds will go to six tribes and tribal organizations.

The funding comes from three federal programs: the Grants to Indian Tribal Governments Program (Tribal Governments Program), the Grants to Support Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalitions Grant Program (Tribal Coalitions Program), and the Grants to State Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Coalitions Program. Reauthorized by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 2005, the Tribal Governments Program is designed to help Indian tribes stop crimes against women, punish those who commit them, and provide services to victims.

Santa Clara and San Felipe Pueblos will each receive $400,000 grants. Zuni Pueblo will receive $550,000. The tribes will use the funds to hire and train staff to investigate crimes against women and work with victims. Zuni will partner with the New Beginning Shelter to preserve and expand services to battered women and other crime victims. Last year, San Felipe used a similar grant to provide services to nineteen women and fifty children who were victims of domestic and sexual violence.

The New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc., (NMCSAP) and the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW) will receive grants for $83,045 and $400,000, respectively. The coalitions will collaborate with tribal governments to provide technical assistance, spread knowledge of best practices from around the state, and coordinate the efforts of different groups working to address violence against women. The Eight Northern Indian Pueblos, Inc., (ENIP)—a consortium representing Taos, Picuris, Ohkay Owingeh, Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Nambe, Pojoaque, and Tesuque Pueblos—will receive $675,000. ENIP will hire and train staff to provide services to victims of sexual assault and coordinate an annual law enforcement conference on domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence.

Tips for the aging eye

The New Mexico Ophthalmological Society, in partnership with EyeCare America, a national nonprofit organization that provides eye exams and eye health information to medically underserved communities, is providing five tips for a healthy aging eye:

1. Vitamin A is great for your eyes and will help you maintain healthy vision. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, yams, and dark, leafy greens.

2. Find out your family history of eye disease. In many cases, having a family member with an eye disease, such as glaucoma, greatly increases your chance of getting the disease.

3. Protect your eyes from the sun. Over-exposure to the sun’s rays can lead to cataracts. Your sunglasses should have UVA and UVB protection.

4. If you are over sixty-five years of age, have your eyes examined annually.

5. Call EyeCare America’s Seniors EyeCare Program at 1-800-222-EYES (3937) to see if you qualify for a free eye exam.

The New Mexico Ophthalmological Society encourages people to call the EyeCare America Seniors EyeCare Program. This program offers eye exams and up to one year of medical care at no out-of-pocket cost for seniors who are without an ophthalmologist (a medical eye doctor). To see if you, a loved one, or a friend aged sixty-five or older is eligible to receive a referral for an eye exam and care, call 1-800-222-EYES (3937). The Seniors EyeCare Program help line operates twenty-four hours a day, every day, year-round.

For more information, visit EyeCare America’s website at www.eyecareamerica.org.

 

 

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