Monday, August 22, 2016

Elisheva Would Have Been So Proud ...

So Many Came to Honor her Life, her Generosity at her funeral service on April 10th The Reverends Clegg - T. Wade & Elisheva And so many sent donations to IHS in her memory. Those donations helped take us through a few months, during a time when writing e-mails was such a struggle. It still is ... but at least these hands don't shake as much when I remember how much she wanted her work to continue as the "last place a UVA Hospital Social Worker needs to call for assistance, when no other agency or clinic or charity can meet the need to help an underfunded situation, especially for food and lodging." She said to me so often, "Isn't it wonderful that we have  been given this opportunity to assist so many people in such stressful situations. How lucky we are."

Elisheva would have been so pleased ...that key Team members who tried to save her all came together on June 24th to meet with me and two of our daughters (Yalda and Arezou) from out of town.  Dr. Christine Lau, lung specialist, was to have performed Elisheva's last cancer removal for her right lung which was scheduled for April 7.  The cancer in the left lung was successfully removed in mid-March. Something more deadly had begun the night of April 5 and when it ruptured the situation was beyond repair. The exploratory in ICU was immediate and extensive, but Elisheva's body could no longer sustain the fight.

The Medical Team Members who met and offered their professional comments were ...

Christine Lau, MD, Chief, Section of Thoracic Surgery UVA;  John Stringham, MD, Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon; Patrick Norton, MD, Radiology & Medical Imaging; John Riordan, MD, Emergency Medicine;  Chris Ghaemmaghami, MD, Chief Medical Office; and Kevin Adams, MDiv, representing UVA Chaplaincy.  The team answered all questions to the best of their abilities. Drs. Lau and Stringham were present from the time Elisheva' arrived in ICU until time of death.  This meeting was so important for our family, for this was a patient prepared for lung surgery within 24 hours who came through ER and seven hours later went into cardiac arrest and died from internal bleeding in a upstairs room so suddenly and unexpectedly. The Team was aware of our lingering concerns and took time to address the situation thoroughly. There was only one major request, not a question from me:  Please take this case and review it precisely and seek out any aspect which may have been missed at any stage of Elisheva's treatment, and use it for awareness training.  It is all I can ask.

Elisheva would be proud that so many cared deeply for her efforts at UVA Hospital ...

but she would be terribly distracted if I did not remind the readers of this e-mail that such a charity can only fulfill its goals with dedicated giving.  She was already planning visits to local churches and activating new private contacts and meeting Commonwealth of Virginia (CVC) UVA Medical Center kick-off personnel to spread the word that Interfaith Humanitarian Sanctum (IHS) is an important tool for lifting burdens from the least able in a most immediate manner.

Keep this in mind Please ...

Every person reading this e-mail, or its equivalent as a blog posting, is a member of some type organization, such as a church, a school, a business, a clinic,  a club, a team, a family. Every person can indicate that there is one silent charity which was founded by a person who saw the needs of people in desperate situations, and said, "This must be corrected!" I am asking for each of you to consider promoting that same sense of generosity within your area of influence.

Please remember that all of us at IHS are non-paid volunteers, and we are all donating what we can to IHS personally. Also remember - for transparency we hold the "Gold Seal of Approval" from the national clearing house. Please do what you can. And, if you would like to donate now to our cause, please click the button below to go to our encrypted secure on-line donation form.

Thank you so much for your ideas and invitations to expose this charity's vital mission. NEVER shy away from seeking gift-giving from others when you know it will serve the needs of the least able.

Sincerely, T. Wade Clegg III
President, IHS

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

It's Time to Say Thanks to J & E Berkley Foundation

Special thanks again to J & E Berkley Foundation of Crozet, Virginia

On May 3 at a meeting of the Foundation, Interfaith Humanitarian Sanctum (IHS) was considered for a Spring Grant to assist with immediate support of the charity's Lodging Program for underfunded long distance out-patients and caregivers.   In addition, the Grant can also be used to support this charity's emergency prescription program  and pediatric support program for purchase of infant car seats for parents in need of that vital safety item who simply find themselves without funds at time of release from UVA Hospital.

The Spring Grant from J & E Berkley Foundation of Crozet, Virginia in 2016 is $6,000.00.  IHS is so appreciative of the consistent consideration annually by the Foundation and its Executive Director, Chris Passmore.

donation_jar_give.jpg Please remember that all of us at IHS are non-paid volunteers, and we are all donating what we can to IHS personally. Also remember - for transparency we hold the "Gold Seal of Approval" from the national clearing house. Please do what you can. And, if you would like to donate now to our cause, please click the button below to go to our encrypted secure on-line donation form.
T. Wade Clegg III & Sam McLawhorn
                                                              IHS Founding Officers 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Our Grief has not subsided, but we remain devoted to our Mission

A Very Personal Note from Thomas Wade Clegg III

Your notes, calls, e-mails and gifts in memory of Rev. Elisheva Clegg, who died in the UVA Medical Center on April 6, have been so meaningful to me and our four children,  plus Sam McLawhorn  and those who have supported our charitable activities over the last eight years.  Please know that in due course I will make contact and respond to your comments and wishes.

Our personal life as ordained Interfaith Ministers, although separate from the IHS public charity, was used as a supportive branch for funds for the charity.  Elisheva was so enthused each time we wrote and performed a wedding, but especially for the last six years when we allowed couples to participate with charitable giving as a part of their fee.

So Much Has Changed and Will Take Time to Adjust
Emotionally, I found myself forgetting simple things and just needing to withdraw for short periods.  I know we are behind in writing e-mails and posting blog notes, but that negligence on my part will change. The emails and blog postings may be shorter, but this next month we will provide more details on those who have been helping.

So Many Have Asked: What happened on April 5-6 that led to Elisheva's death?
I can only tell you that Elisheva did NOT die from cancers in both her lungs. She was working through a well-planned program with the UVA Cancer Center Lung Specialists, beginning at the first of the year.  I have every confidence that the Lung Cancer Center was in route to a complete and fruitful result had Elisheva lived for the removal of the cancer from her right lung which was scheduled for April 7.  She died the day before her final operation.

April 5th beginning at about 5:30 PM was a nightmare in slow motion
Elisheva walked to our upstairs bedroom, following a long conversation of planning for the remainder of the summer.  She called me to come upstairs. She was having intense pain in her back and chest and needed assistance. The ambulance arrived shortly thereafter and we were in UVA Hospital ER within the hour. She remained in ER for at least 6 hours

From slow nightmare to panic alarm

During the transition process from her ER rolling bed to the room bed, Elisheva experienced further distress and a code was sounded. The room filled with a multitude, all working feverously for almost twenty minutes until a heartbeat was noted. Twenty minutes is a long time.

The next move was down the hall to ICU

More hours passed. The description of exploratory intrusion to find the source of the internal bleeding will not be related.  The exploratory was necessary if the bleeding was to be stopped, but the cumulative efforts ended at 0944 hours.

The death certificate reads

Elisheva C. Clegg died of cardiac arrest, hemorrhage, chest wall trauma. Other significant conditions:  PEA arrest from unknown cause, CPR resulting in chest wall trauma.  Now you know what happened as concisely as I can offer.

Some final thoughts

I got through the funeral that Sunday, but I do not remember who was there. Elisheva was there in a lovely wooden coffin which my daughters selected for cremation.  I only had one wish and that was to have all four of my very adult children and their children hear from so many friends what generosity she provided with her life.  She loved so deeply and offered such kindness.  There was never a day when she did not say to me, one of the following several times:  "I love you so much."  " Do you know how much I love you?" " Let's do 20 more years, OK?" And I said, "Twenty years plus one!"   And she would kiss me.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Reverend Elisheva C. Clegg Has Passed Away

Reverend Elisheva C. Clegg passed away unexpectedly in Charlottesville, VA on April 6, 2016 at the age of 72.

Elisheva is survived by her husband of 43 years, Thomas Wade Clegg III; her children, Ari Jolly and her husband John Jolly of Jacksonville, FL; Yalda Clegg and her husband Scott York of Alexandria, VA; Kristine Bechtel and her husband Todd Bechtel of Charlotte, NC; Wade Clegg IV and his wife Jolene Clegg of Los Angeles, CA, and sister in law Judith Clegg of Tupelo, MS.  She was also the loving grandmother of Chandler and Jack Jolly, Zachary and Joshua Bechtel and Arthur and Elsa Clegg.
Elisheva C. Clegg was born on January 22, 1944 in Kaiserslautern, Germany and was a war baby survivor of WWII.  She met and married her soulmate Thomas Wade Clegg III on June, 25, 1972 while he was stationed with the US Air Force serving at Ramstein AFB in Germany.  The entire family moved to the United States when Wade completed active duty with the US Air Force in 1974.
Elisheva was compassionate and found her calling in counseling and helping others in times of need.  She received a master's degree in pastoral counseling and became an ordained interfaith minister.  She also attended the UVA medical center chaplaincy program.

She was a kind, generous, witty, dedicated individual to all who had the privilege of meeting her.  She was extremely passionate about helping those who were unable to help themselves in times of crisis.   It was this need that led her, Wade and co-founder Sam McLawhorn to create the nonprofit charity Interfaith Humanitarian Sanctum (IHS).  IHS is an independent, non-religious, ALL volunteer, nonprofit, 501(c)3 public charity.  IHS assists long distance families who are underfunded with lodging and food and other critical needs including items such a providing new infant car seats for UVA's pediatric clinics.

A celebration of Elisheva's life is scheduled for this Sunday, April 10th beginning at 2:30 pm at Grace and Glory Lutheran Church located at 683 Thomas Jefferson Pwky VA-53 (Palmyra) VA 22963 (434-589-2217).

In lieu of flowers, please consider Elisheva's efforts in raising funds for her charity, IHS at or mail to:

PO Box 163
Palmyra, VA 22963

Monday, February 8, 2016

Five Straight Years of Grant Support Has Secured Food Needs for Thousands of Underfunded UVA Hospital Guests and Out-Patients

As we entered 2016, the Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band in the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation (CACF) provided a Grant of $4,000.00. This grant is dedicated to our Food Program. With this grant the Fund has contributed a total of $38,000.00 in the last five years.   

This Grant is impacting on two distinctive IHS food programs

The UVA Hospitality House (HH).  The thirty(30) room facility which can lodge about sixty(60) people is the only affordable opportunity for lodging for indigent and unfunded long distance out-patients and caregivers who must come for treatment at the UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville. UVA Hospitality House does not have a budget for food and kitchen related items, and is supported through donations. Although HH receives a small grant from the Emergency Food Bank, the most consistent supplier is IHS. And this specific grant has been the main reason for this charity's ability to secure a monthly fulfillment of needs for HH guests.

The Full-day Meal Packet Program.  IHS stocks a large cabinet in the Office of Social Work in the main hospital, which allows UVA Social Workers 24/7 access to provide underfunded guests with proper nourishment. Presently, from 250-300 full-day meal packets are delivered monthly. This translates in an active use year to 3,000 packets, or approximately $19,500.00. The program is mostly a community effort, whereby churches, schools, clubs, scouts, day-care centers, businesses, hospital clinics and families buy and assemble packets and deliver to IHS volunteers to keep the cabinet full year-round.  When participation is reduced in summer and holidays, the Bama Works Fund is accessed to purchase supplies for maintaining consistent delivery to the Office of Social Work.

A Special Letter from Mary Jackson, Supervisor, UVA Hospitality House
"The continuation of support by the Bama Works Grant to Interfaith Humanitarian Sanctum (IHS) is still irreplaceable and crucial to the well-being of our guests (the majority of whom are low-income earners and many are indigent).

The UVA Hospitality House's ability to provide free food diminished in May of 2015. The Emergency Food Bank (EFB) of Charlottesville lowered its monthly contribution from $400 to $200.  The EFB cited reduced contributions and increased requests for assistance, which resulted in across the board cuts.  IHS has dedicated its support not only to our twice monthly requests for kitchen related supplies, but also lodging support for the least able, especially with the opening of the Battle Building and a higher number of long term guests here. I can not envision a smaller demand for food assistance ever occurring.

Without any funds allowed in our budget for food, we are completely reliant on contributions in order to provide for our guests.  IHS has remained that dependable asset and Bama Works Fund Grant has remained a most dependable friend in order to secure IHS's reliability."

To the Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band in CACF Committee ... Thank you for allowing this group of volunteers the needed funds to assist in the feeding of the least able visitors to our community.

Sincerely ... ALL of IHS, the UVA Social Staff and UVA Hospitality House Staff

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Please Consider this Final Appeal as a Truly Worthwhile Opportunity

December 31st is the end of the year. Only 4 more days.  While many will have donated to a charitable activity before Christmas Day, some of you who are friends of IHS  may want to take advantage of this final chance to receive a charitable tax deduction to assist  the indigent and severely underfunded who must come to Charlottesville to the UVA Medical Center for treatment.
Remember - your donation allows us to respond 24/7 to UVA Social Workers who call for assistance with lodging, food, co-pays or an infant car seat for the UVA pediatric clinics when no other agency or organization is available as that final safety net. It's your chance to do good.

Consider one of two methods for your donation.

(1) Write a check to IHS and send it by regular mail to:
P.O. Box 163
Palmyra, VA 22963

Make a copy to retain for your IRS tax filing as a charitable donation for 2015.

(2) Or donate by accessing the DONATE BUTTON at the end of this short reminder.

In closing for these final days of 2015, thank you for whatever you can do to secure our efforts to sustain these vital physical needs for the least able among us.  Please know that no one in this public charity is paid. The largest private donations of time and funding still comes from the founding members; however, it is simply not enough to sustain a growing need. If it were not so, then I promise we would not ask for your assistance.

Also remember - for transparency we hold the "Gold Seal of Approval" from the national clearing house. Please do what you can. And, if you would like to donate now to our cause, please click the button below to go to our encrypted secure on-line donation form.

 From all of us to all of you,
T. Wade, Elisheva & Sam ... IHS Founding Members

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Little Bit of Hope for the Least Able is Within Your Reach ....

There are so many stories which could be told, but for the sake of privacy they simply must be vague as to time, place of origin , and circumstance. Such is the matter which follows:

Late December afternoon call from a Social Worker asking if there was possibly some assistance available for a couple from northern Virginia who had just arrived in a taxi. Not a medical taxi, but a commercial cab!  It was not a cheap ride, but the couple learned that a specialist would see them, so that was their only objective.

I learned that the couple was only recently settled into their location. They were arrivals from Africa,  and desperate for attention to a particular medical problem. When the option for the appointment arose at the UVA Medical Center, they flagged a cab.
The Social Worker said that she did not know what else to tell me, except that they are here and will be seen. They speak very little English, and communication is limited, but we will work around that.  However, as she noted, "The taxi ride left them broke. UVA Hospitality House fortunately has a room for two nights. I know you provide food to Hospitality House so that is covered. Can you cover their lodging  for two nights? I can get them home day after tomorrow."

Our answer was YES... send them over.  Some situations don't need a lot of explanation.

Such last minute situations occur weekly, sometimes several times, different emergencies but always desperate people just moving with the flow in order to secure treatment wherever it can be rendered.  This charity's devotion to the UVA Hospital's Social Work staff for just such situations is only possible when a friend of the charity remembers that we are ready to respond 24/7 and sends a donation to allow this service to be sustained.
Thanks to all of you who have brought so much relief to these guests in desperate times.

Your donation keeps us in rapid response mode!

Please remember that all of us at IHS are non-paid volunteers, and we are all donating what we can to IHS personally. Also remember - for transparency we hold the "Gold Seal of Approval" from the national clearing house. Please do what you can. And, if you would like to donate now to our cause, please click the button below to go to our encrypted secure on-line donation form.

 Much love from all of us
T. Wade, Elisheva & Sam ... IHS Founding Members