Resources

    Reminders for Energy Assistance 2020-2021 Season

    March 31, 2021 is the Deadline for fuel authorizations or deliveries.

    May 3, 2021 is the last day that a household can apply to establish its eligibility for benefits unless the household is utility heated and has a shut-off notice for its primary source of heat.

    May 14, 2021 is the last day that a utility heated household with a shut-off notice for its primary heat can apply to establish its eligibility for benefits.

    May 31st is the last day to submit deliverable fuel bills.

    Elderly and Totally Disabled Tax Relief Program

    The application filing period for the Elderly and totally Disabled Tax Relief Program is from February 1 thru May 15, 2021.

    Please be aware that the IRS has issued specific guidance about the 2020 stimulus payments and have stated that these payments are not categorized as income, therefore, any economic stimulus payments received during calendar year 2020 WILL NOT count as income for these tax relief programs.

    Qualifying income guidelines for the Elderly and Totally Disabled Tax Relief Program are $37,600 for unmarried individuals and $45,800.00 for married persons.

    If you are currently participating in the Homeowner Program and need to reapply, you will receive notice from the Preston Assessor’s Office advising you of that requirement.

    Proof of all sources of income including but not limited to Social Security, pensions, interest statements, employment, etc. are required. If you filed Income Tax, a copy of the signed and dated document is necessary to provide as well. It is extremely important that you provide all necessary documentation for the application to be completed.

    Due to the COVIC-19 pandemic, the application process will change this year. I will be asking you to drop-off your paperwork in the blue Drop Box located at the front entrance to the Preston Town Hall. I will review your information and contact you by telephone to complete your application. I will arrange a time that is mutually acceptable to have you return to the Preston Town Hall to sign the application(s). At which time, I will return any/all original documents which you have provided.

    Please call the office at 860-887-5581 ext. 6 informing me that you dropped off your information at the Town Hall. (if leaving a phone message, please include your name and telephone number. The application process does not begin until February 1st.

    AARP Tax Assistance Program

    Regrettably, the Preston Senior Center will not host the AARP Tax
    Assistance Program during this tax season. The COVID-19 pandemic is the
    primary reason. BUT existing clients will be encouraged to contact the Rose City Senior Center, 8 Mahan Drive, Norwich to receive assistance with their income tax preparation. NO NEW CLIENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Beginning during January, you are encouraged to contact the Rose City Senior Center at 860-889-5960 to schedule an appointment.

    For those individuals who are existing clients only:
    New to the process is that you will have to go to the Rose City Senior
    Center at least 48 hours prior to your appointment to pick-up a booklet to be completed. (This is the same type of information that you would routinely complete at our center). You will need to complete the paperwork and include it with your income tax information. (Do not place your information in a plastic bag as the virus can live longer in that environment). It is suggested that you place your documents in a secure location within your locked vehicle trunk until the time of your appointment.

    Drive-thru service will remain the same as last year. You drive up, staff will
    take your paperwork out of the trunk of your car, they work on it and give you a call on your cell phone when they have questions or when your income tax is completed. Appointments will be available on Tuesday and Thursday only.

    You will also need a cell phone available so that you can be contacted when
    the AARP tax preparer completes your document.

    Fortitude – Content by Judy

    As I worked on my Vision Board for 2021, I searched for that all important key word – for me and for SeniorCenterCt.org. What one word was the best fit? What word would portray and define my path for 2021?

    Many businesses and individuals pick one word that best describes how they want to be characterized and/or strive to achieve in the upcoming year.

    Well, I wanted to do this as well but as much as I searched, I just could not find the right word. I kept at it. I would revisit and wander down the path of words I’d see from time to time. And yeah, there wasn’t ever quite the right fit until…

    This week I was walking along the ocean in Westbrook for the second day in a row and as I let my mind wander, there it was – fortitude. Wow, I mulled it over. Said it out loud and knew it was the word I had been searching for.

    FORTITUDE – courage in adversity. Isn’t this exactly what we all have been doing since COVID came to visit and did not leave just like an unwanted house guest. We all discovered that we have the strength of mind to endure a 2-week shelter in place that has turned into a year plus. We have discovered we have gumption, spunk, moxie and determination. We can and are surviving.

    And as I traveled down 2020, I struggled just as many businesses did on whether SeniorCenterCt.org would survive or was it time to shut the doors and close down Jencks Network, LLC. There were no new sales happening and little money coming in. But the bills continued arriving. The question became “Is today the time to file for bankruptcy?”

    But I also knew I have a product that is stunning and needed by so many.  Also, that as we come out of COVID I know other businesses are going to be looking for “new” ways to advertise.  That post COVID we all will be in a “new world” and SeniorCenterCt.org is in the best position ever to thrive and grow into the business I have always know it will be.

    So, I reached out for grants, PPP, EIDL and anything else that might give me the money I needed to survive. And as I said “FORTITUDE” on the beach, I knew that is exactly what I have been doing. What I will continue to do as SeniorCenterCt.org grows in 2021. A new Senior Center is being added. A different calendar platform will be used. Other changes are in the works. I know that FORTITUDE is the strength and strong will that carries me patiently forward with firm courage.

    This word – FORTITUDE —   reflects back at me as I read my 2021 Vision Board. It says – I will experience everyday humility, curiosity, courage and confidence. I will always ask “Why?” I will look for and see the clues.

    Because I have the ability to carry on, because I and all of us who have survived COVID we all have  FORTITUDE!

    And yes, you have been traveling this same journey even if your path looks a little different, we all have had the strength to bear through a pandemic and have the ability to carry on!! We have guts, grit, backbone and FORTITUDE!!

    Be Ready for the Recovery – Content by Judy

    Marketing trends have been heading in new directions for a while but the COVID19 is really pushing that envelope into horizons we cannot even imagine. We currently are living, working, and shopping in ways we never dreamed of. And these new ways too will change quickly as we readjust to a whole new “normal” as we come out of this lockdown.

    We will mourn the loss of many things, as we start consuming services and goods in different ways. We will be discovering what companies and businesses have survived. What new businesses have emerged.

    Stopping for a coffee can be a good example. How many of us stopped daily for that great cup of Joe? Couldn’t live without it…. Until….. Our lives changed. The habit got broken because we were no longer leaving the house every day. The question becomes how many cups of coffee will that business sell as we all come out of this pandemic? Will the local shops even reopen?

     

    Companies must adjust quickly if they plan to survive and be profitable over the next 5 years. Marketing trends have been heading in new directions for a while but the COVID19 is really pushing that envelope into horizons we cannot even imagine.

    Trends show we will continue to hold virtual meetings which will become a more efficient use of time. We will socialize in every different ways. We have found we do not like social distancing so much. Clubs will pop up and memberships will increase. Facebook groups will evolve and start gathering in person. Established groups such as VFWs, The Elks, The Moose will attract new members. Senior Centers, the Y, Park n Rec and similar organizations will experience a surge in activity as people discover their new routines.

    The public will spend months perhaps years looking for and discovering their new day to day habits. And when creating this new life, they will select the parts they liked and discard what they will not do again, and businesses need to be where the consumer can find them such as SeniorCenterCt.org. This collective site is trusted and contains trusted information. This cutting-edge resource is that place where users find what they are looking for, mark their calendars with activities and though clickable ads find services and products they are looking for. Plus, then can relay all this information to their family and friends.

    Businesses need to:

    • Be that trusted advisor/service/site/provider
    • Strengthen existing customer relationships
    • Identify real opportunities and shift accordingly
    • pinpoint key priorities
    • determine their brand and do extensive brand building so their company is easy to recognize
    • Be ready for the recovery

    And all businesses need to be very aware of the senior population. As a group they will be for the most part the least affected by all of this. For the most part their income will continue to be very stable. And they still will be purchasing and consuming at the rate they were.

    Resources like SeniorCenterCt.org will grow in popularity as the senior population, their friends and families are looking to establish and get back their “new” ordinary lives.