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PCA event to spotlight the impact of the Emergency Fund For Older Philadelphians during pandemic

Alicia Colombo

For the thousands of older adults living on fixed incomes, while simultaneously experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic, the financial strain can be burdensome. As part of its commitment to supporting and empowering older Philadelphians, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) established the Emergency Fund for Older Philadelphians to provide assistance to seniors who have exhausted all other resources. To celebrate the impact of the fund, PCA will hold a virtual event on Wednesday, September 22 from 1 to 2 p.m.

The Emergency Fund grants assistance to older adults who have exhausted all other resources for expenses such as utilities, medical supplies and food. Since its inception in 1979, over 31,601 households have received emergency assistance totaling more than $3.3 million. In 2020, The Emergency Fund for Older Philadelphians provided $135,759 in crisis assistance to 1,134 households. Of those funds, 63% went to pay for home heating oil and utilities; 20% was for general needs, including medical expenses; and 17% was for food.

“For many, each year, the Emergency Fund for Older Philadelphians is a lifeline for those who are financially strained and are facing difficult decisions between using limited funds to pay utilities, buy food or even purchase life-saving medications,” said Wanda Mitchell, PCA’s representative of the Emergency Fund Coalition for Older Philadelphians. “This fund helps to ease those burdens, so that older Philadelphians do not have to go without such necessities.”

This year, the coalition will honor Diane Menio, Executive Director of Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE), with the Bright Star of Aging Award for her stewardship and advocacy on behalf of older Philadelphians, including CARIE’s efforts to advocate for long-term care residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also will recognize recipients of the PCA Community Service Awards for their dedicated service to older adults. Awardees include Mary Anne Didelis of PCA, Bonney Dahlgren DosSantos of St. Monica Elder Care and Carmen Aviles formerly of Norris Square Senior Center.

This virtual event is FREE to attend and open to the public. Attendees can register in advance here.

To make a donation to the Emergency Fund for Older Philadelphians, please visit

Categories: Donors News about PCA


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