Over 30 years ago a small group of compassionate and far-sighted Foreign Service Officers founded the Senior Living Foundation of the American Foreign Service.The group was comprised of Ambassadors Findley Burns, Jr., L. Dean Brown, Joan Clark and John Jova, who was replaced by Ambassador Bob Blake upon his death. They became known as the "Findley Burns Group".Their objective was at once simple and profound: to support retired members of the Foreign Service and their spouses, including those divorced and separated, who had become unable to manage the financial, physical and mental challenges of life during their later years.
From the beginning, SLF had support from the wider Foreign Service family. At that time, DACOR had a Welfare Program intended to give emergency or temporary, one-time relief to active or retired FS people in the form of either a grant or loan. While DACOR never intended its efforts to be sustained support, SLF aimed to provide ongoing assistance from the very beginning. Our fundraising efforts began in 1994 with a letter from Ambassador Blake to 100 friends and colleagues. We issued our first grant of $150 in 1995.
Today, the Foundation provides financial support to more than two dozen colleagues on a monthly basis. We assist with geriatric care assessments, home health care, basic living expenses, prescription copays, and more. SFL also provides one-time assistance to recent widows awaiting survivor annuities. In recent years, our grant disbursements have topped $250,000.
Beyond our financial assistance, our Resource Center connects members of the FS community with state, local and community resources during times of transition and need. Many active-duty FS officers have turned to us for guidance when assisting their parents with life-changing decisions, and we are proud to help. In addition, we offer programs and workshops on a number of issues related to retirement preparation, living options, and more.