Egyptian Area Agency on Aging, Inc.

office signOur office is located at 200 E. Plaza Dr. in Carterville, Illinois (next to McDonalds). Plaza Drive is the frontage road on Illinois Route 13 near the Carterville crossroad.

Our agency is governed by a Board of Directors from all thirteen counties of our catchment area. They meet monthly and determine policy and approve the mission of the agency. Our Advisory Council meet every other month to review such items as services, funding, and program rules or policy. Our Board and Advisory Council members serve without compensation, except for reimbursement for travel to our meetings.

Although we received federal and state funds for aging programs, there are actually many other important sources of funds for aging programs. A large portion of the funding needed to operate aging programs comes from local communities and our program participants. See our Area Plan Summary for more information.

We administer funding for aging services in the southern thirteen counties of Illinois, but provide very few aging services directly. We receive federal and state funding and award it to local senior centers and other service provider agencies that provide service to older adults. Use this link to view aging services.

We plan, coordinate, and develop a comprehensive service system for older adults in the southern thirteen counties of Illinois. We also monitor issues that are important to older people and advocate on their behalf, such as monitoring other agencies to insure they provide services that are sensitive to the needs of older adults.

We publish information about social service agencies in our Aging and Disability Resource Guide. We are available to discuss aging services with community groups, other agencies, and the media.

Our staff are involved in many activities such as serving on various Boards and Councils that make policy that affects older adults, providing information and technical assistance to organizations, surveying older adults in the area to find out their needs, and developing new programs and funding sources.

We respond to requests from older persons for information and make referrals including employment assistance and training, and develop volunteer opportunities for older adults especially with agencies that serve younger generations.

Why We Use the Name Egyptian

mask of King TutFor natives of Southern Illinois who grew up with the understanding that this area of Illinois is frequently referred to as "Egypt," it is understood why many businesses take on an Egyptian theme.

Some say that this nickname was given to Southern Illinois because of the Egyptian names of some of its towns, such as Cairo, Thebes, and Karnak. Others say that the name "Egypt" was coined for Southern Illinois by frontier explorers because the delta near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers at the southernmost tip of Illinois looked similar to the land around the delta of the Nile River in Egypt.

Yet the uniqueness of "Egypt" as the nickname for the southern third of Illinois may best be explained by author Baker Brownell in his book "The Other Illinois".

"... Although the legend probably was invented after the fact, it is persistent. There was a drought in the northern counties (of Illinois) in the early 1800's...the wheat fields dried up, the streams died in their beds. But in southern Illinois rain fell and there were good crops, and from the north came people seeking corn and wheat as to Egypt of old. Thus, the name Egypt."

A similar situation is described in The Bible (Genesis 41:57, 42:1-3).

"And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.

"Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, 'Why do ye look one upon another?'

"An he said, 'Behold I have heard that there is corn in Egypt, Get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live and not die.'

"And Jacob's 10 brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt."

Sources: The Bible. The Other Illinois, by Baker Brownell. The World Book Encyclopedia. Fred Huff, formerly of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

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