Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Giant Corporation and a Tiny Catholic Church

A giant corporation and a tiny Catholic Church both reached across the miles to assist this small charity in its efforts to weave a stronger safety net.

August 2010 brought us two supportive partners, namely Pinnacle Foods Group, headquartered in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, and Christ the King Catholic Church in Abingdon, Virginia.

Pinnacle Foods began providing coupons to assist with purchases of their brand of large frozen dinners, at least through the end of 2010. This has made such a difference, as you will recognize in the e-mail (see below) we received from Teresa Bevins, Clinical Social Worker and coordinator of the program at the UVA Medical Center Pediatric Clinic. The Pinnacle assist covers half of our present monthly need, a big share indeed.

In her very personal note to me, Michelle Weese, Pinnacle Foods Communications, stated:
“First, let us commend you for the fabulous works you are doing for the families visiting the UVA Medical Center. The role you are playing as an advocate for these families is one that is very important. We realize that these families are going through life changing experiences and the trials that they are enduring are difficult. It is people like you that make a difference as you care for their needs and bring them the daily kindnesses that get them through the day, the week, and the event in their life. Thank you for your dedication and the tireless hours you spend caring for people. In response to your original appeal to us, Pinnacle Foods will be sending you coupons for frozen dinners monthly for the balance of 2010. We hope that this removes the worry for the basic need for food for some of the families who will be spending time at the UVA Medical Center. Our best wishes go out to those families and we hope that you can convey that for us. Best of luck in your charitable endeavors and again, thank you for your outreach to us.”

The other consistent contributor is Christ the King Catholic Church in Abingdon, Virginia. Abingdon is over 250 miles from Charlottesville.

Pastor Father Paul Maier wrote:
“Dear Friends, by way of explanation, our church hopes to make this a monthly pledge ($50) for as long as we are able. Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic follow-up patients will be heading to Charlottesville, so perhaps our little bit will help. God Bless…Father Paul.”

The RAM clinic patients referred to by Father Paul are those who have been treated in the free clinic in Wise, Virginia, and will often be sent to Charlottesville for further diagnosis and treatment. Most frequently they are unemployed, without insurance, and other than the free clinic, they have no access to medical and dental treatment. Father Paul and his small church became aware of IHS support of social workers who assist these long distance patients. IHS functions solely in support of the UVA Medical Center Social Staff.

Last Friday we received the following note from Teresa Bevins, in which she asked specifically to relate her note to those who support IHS with donations. She wrote:
“Dear Reverends Clegg, as usual we stay quite busy with families in need here at the hospital. Today , as last Friday also, I was contacted by adult social workers with caregivers and patients that were staying in the community to receive chemotherapy or radiation and did not have funds to eat. Fortunately, I had a significant amount of frozen meals and breakfast items that IHS donated to us and was able to meet these needs for 3 adult patients/ caregivers. It is understatement to say how much your valiant efforts are appreciated by the UVA Social Work Department in pursuing outside donations through your charity to help us meet these deserving people of various communities around Virginia. Some of these patients will be here for many weeks per our oncology social worker Vikki Bravo. It is a pleasure for us as social workers to be able help these deserving individuals and families in their time of need. In addition, I referred another social worker to you for lodging.

I know I speak for myself and others to say IHS is making a difference in the lives of patients and families here at UVA. It always amazes me how those with the least often try to donate such as the church you mentioned in your e-mail to me. These are truly angels working on the behalf of mankind. Please feel free to share my letter with your benefactors, as I am sure they will appreciate knowing the wonderful work you both are doing. Sincerely, Teresa Bevins BSW, Clinical Social Worker, UVA Children’s Hospital”

As many contributors and readers know, IHS has a responsibility to observe confidentiality of patients, and this we do with diligence. Therefore, it is so very much appreciated when a social worker relates exactly how the funds are beneficial from their own personal experiences.

Your $5-$25-$50 donation keeps the lodging and food available. Your discussion with your church, your golf club, your service club, your business, your own family to place us on an outreach program is so very much needed. Lodging donations are not presently matching the need. Please consider us in your giving, even with a few dollars a month. No one working for this charity receives a dime, and we are personally the largest donor to support this effort. Your gift is totally aimed at bills for lodging, food, travel and co-pays.

Direct link to IHS Donation Site:

Blessings…T. Wade Clegg III