Brief History

The designated Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for the Atlanta Region is the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC.) As such, ARC is responsible for administration and coordination of services for seniors such as home-delivered meals, senior centers, adult day care, respite and caregiver support. As America began to gray with Boomers causing dramatic demographic shifts, staff was searching for options to create additional resources.

With this in mind, ARC and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta created a new fund that could identify support for programs and services for older adults. The Thanks Mom & Dad Fund® was established and 501(c)(3) status was secured.  In 2015, the Fund moved out of the ARC offices and hired its first Director.

It is called the Thanks Mom & Dad Fund® because honoring the older person is the centerpiece of the Fund. Generation-to-generation, it honors parents, grandparents, and mentors, those who came before us, while supporting aging programs and services.

It was set outside of the AAA in order to make funding available to a broad number of aging programs and to eventually have the capacity to grow into a statewide foundation and, long-term, into a national foundation specifically designed to support services for the elderly.

Much enthusiasm has been generated in support of the Fund with different promotions by Applebee’s Restaurants, the Atlanta ABC affiliate, WSB-TV, Channel 2, and successful fundraising events. Individual and corporate contributions have increased as more and more people became aware of the opportunity to give back to those who helped us along the way.

Current demographics demonstrate the need for such support. As we prepare to serve the largest number of older adults in history we need only look at the growing waiting lists for services. As unmet needs continue to grow, we are faced with the fastest growing, yet quietest, crisis in recent history.

Grants are currently made in the State of Georgia. The first mini-grants were awarded in 2003 and total over $1M to date. This includes awards to Georgia’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) which became GeorgiaCares as a result of designated contributions and created improved access to prescription drugs for older adults before Medicare prescription drug coverage was available.