Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The snow is melting…the road to UVA Medical Center is active again

Latest entry from Rev. T. Wade Clegg III

The biggest snow of record has melted in Charlottesville, and although extremely cold, activities are now at an increased pace.

The night the snow started falling caught so many off guard along the two lane Jefferson Parkway Highway (Highway 53) in front of Monticello, within hours the highway was shut down from so many cars off the side of the road, and eliminating passing. This was an indicator that anyone being dismissed as a patient from UVA Medical Center from a distance would be in for a surprise.

Fortunately only two people were stranded with no funds to take them through the three days they had to remain in Charlottesville. Both were from West Virginia, and the Hospitality House (HH) was full. There was simply no going over the mountain in a normal vehicle to reach West Virginia. They were extremely appreciative to know that someone was waiting to assist.

Today is January 6 as I write this update. As of the first five days of January, 14 patients and/or family members will be staying in lodging (hospitality house and commercial hotels) for a total of 17 nights. That’s 17 rooms booked in only 5 days. That’s a fast start and considerable expense in just under a week.

As you may know, when I tell little stories of specific situations concerning patients and/or families coming to UVA Medical Center, no names are mentioned. Also, sometimes the distance or place of residence will not be mentioned so as not to touch onto privacy. But – it does assist to let you know again and again the necessity for this charity and the service performed.

Very recently, a patient from no less than 100 miles away, needed to be here for a surgical procedure, not just a routine procedure, but a critical need. The patient has several children, and no supportive partner, just another adult to assist during these trying times. The Hospitality House (HH) can not accommodate the patient who needed the children nearby.

Without a place to stay the day before the procedure, the patient told the social worker that a cancellation was necessary, since funds for lodging were not available. There would not be enough money to feed the kids. They had to be with the patient.

The social worker called and said, “I know it’s late (about 5:30 PM) but this is the situation and this patient needs to have this surgery on schedule tomorrow. Can you help?”

The answer is always YES. Three days in a commercial hotel for the children and adult as they stayed close to the patient, but were able to return to a hotel room each night.

What a difference WE (you and you and us) are all making by securing these rooms, whether in HH or a commercial hotel. The four commercial hotels are five times higher than HH, but we are still afforded the best rates in the community. But as you begin to crunch the numbers, 17 rooms in 6 days is pointing to an expensive month.

Don’t forget about us. Whatever is possible will keep us saying YES when a social worker calls.
Remember – once a social worker calls, the need is now and the person(s) have been screened and the need is absolute. Also - the co-pay fund for indigent clients was fortified again two weeks ago with an additional $200 for the fund to meet needs.

Another reminder! So Important!

In closing, please know that January 19, 2010…that’s a Tuesday from 9 AM – 9 PM, we have been selected for Charlottesville’s Whole Foods Market 5% Day. Such an opportunity! 5% of the net sales to this charity. We will need volunteers for bagging groceries from 11-2 and 4-7 that day, while the advisory group and those less mobile handle a table with handouts.

At this time, we have only two volunteers for the 11 AM-2 PM shift and two volunteers for the 4-7 PM shift for bagging. We could use from 5-6 people each shift. One volunteer couple is among those we married two years ago and lives in Charlottesville. If more people are available, we might add some volunteers to the grocery staff for bagging from 2-4 PM

I just received a note from another couple who is driving up from Asheville, NC on the 18th to spend all day with us on the 19th to assist. That’s about 375 miles one way. Such consideration is so valued. If you are near and can assist, then please e-mail. Of real importance is to contact any friends in the Charlottesville area, and ask them to save their shopping for January 19, 2010.

The address is Whole Foods Market, 300 Shoppers World Court, Charlottesville, VA 22901.
This address is on Highway 29 North (also known as Seminole Trail). Anyone lost in the area that day in route to shop or assist, we will have our cell phones handy at (434) 825-0881 and (434) 825-0556. Cell phones are activated when we are away from home. Remember – Whole Foods has a marvelous deli, one of the best places to dine in town, so come on over and enjoy the visit. Thanks so much for whatever is possible, even if just an e-mail to a friend to SHOP, SHOP, SHOP!

Blessings…T. Wade