Eric Wilden has only been My Way’s executive director for four weeks and he has already met a lot of potential members, trained new employees and brainstormed ways to help the organization expand.
Since his start date on July 16, Wilden has gone out on jobs to assist some of My Way’s 1800 members. Recently, he picked up a woman who needed a ride to a furniture store so that she can pick up an end table for her home. The delivery service for the furniture store would have cost a flat rate of $75. With My Way’s hourly fee of $18.75, the woman was able to save at least half of the delivery service cost, which Wilden said My Way is all about.
“We are doing our best to help members save money and to help with the assistance they need at whatever level they need it,” he said.
My Way is a member-based non-profit licensed home care agency that assists senior citizens 55 years of age and older living in Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill, Germantown, Olney, Logan and East and West Oak Lane neighborhoods. It is a joint venture between the Neighborhood Interfaith Movement (NIM) and Ralston Center.
It provides a wide-range of services to its members such as yard work, home repairs, snow shoveling, house cleaning and transportation to run various errands. Membership is free.
“What he is going to bring the ability mobilize potential members of my way and people to serve on a community board and enable my way to grow quickly so that we can penetrate 55 + population in a way that will to make household name among older adults living in the area,” said George Stern, My Way’s board president.
He continued by stating that Wilden was “hands down the person we all wanted for the job,” because of his experience with organizing in the community, marketing and development. Wilden secedes Susan Gueye, who served as the executive director since 2010, when My Way opened its doors.
The former Mt. Airy resident hopes to assist more senior citizens who don’t qualify for public assistance, but don’t have the finances pay out of pocket for everything they need done to stay in their home. However, there is no income limits.
“I would also like to help folks understand that My Way is here in the neighborhood to help them as a part of this community and to strengthen the Northwest Philadelphia community and the neighborhoods that they live in,” said Wilden. “That’s our mission and that’s the reason we want older adults to stay in their homes longer because the longer they can stay in their homes, the longer they can be active participants in their communities and the stronger that makes the communities.”
It is funded through the hourly fees, Friends Foundation for the Aging, Samuel S. Fels Fund and many more donors.
While it still receives some funding from the Ralston Center, it is a separate non-profit organization with no official affiliation. That is also the case with NIM, the other founding organization.
My Way is located at 7104 Germantown Ave. 215-525-5470