Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Marvelous Start for 2011 and what happened last year!

January has it all, including the end of that long holiday period and lots of mixed weather (including snow), which can delay families and patients already strapped for funds for lodging and food.  January also brought us new friends to add to the giving group that supports this all-volunteer charity.

Many new friends have learned of our efforts, especially with that very in-depth Daily Progress newspaper article of November 28, 2010. If the previous link fails, and you missed it, scroll back on the blog to the entry of November 29 and read it on-line.  Also, please share it with a friend.

A few days ago I received an e-mail from a follower in northern Virginia. He asked if there are any similar charities serving people in his area. I indicated that IHS is serving patients and families from his very town! Many do not know that all of those receiving IHS lodging and food support come to the UVA Medical Center from distances ranging from 60 miles to hundreds of miles. Many do not know that this large teaching and trauma hospital is the home of specialties not easily found elsewhere - in cancer and infant care, among others. Therefore, IHS is quite literally a service to every Virginia locality.  

2011 is the beginning of our third year and it's tax preparation time, which will be posted upon completion. Already, we are very close to filing the updated detailed information for review on GuideStar.  There are also a lot of hyperlinks on our home page, which allows IHS to be as transparent as possible.

In March IHS will have its first opportunity, as a nonprofit public charity, to enroll in the annual Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC) for state workers.  Look for further announcements about this in the months ahead.

You will be pleased to know that we continue to make a difference.  Although IHS is independent of the UVA Medical Center, our close working relationship with social workers enables us to respond rapidly to unmet family and patient needs.  Now... It's reporting time!

In summary:  during 2010...  
  • IHS assisted 259 people with lodging for 536 overnight stays. This included commercial hotel rooms and assistance at UVA Hospitality House.
  • IHS provided over 1,500 meals, mostly in the last six months of the year.  Pinnacle Foods provided 500 large frozen dinner coupons early in the year, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Unitarian Universalist (TJM UU) Church in Charlottesville began its full-day Meal Packet Program in October. Margaret Gorman's Sunday School classes produced a total of 310 packets, and will continue their leadership role for the program into 2011. 
  • IHS continued to sustain two funds that were established in the Office of Social Work. One meets Pay Grade 1 medical co-pays. The transportation fund covers the cost of commercial bus tickets or gas expenses for a patient's vehicle. Secondly, local transient tickets are issued to Charlottesville area patients following their UVA Medical Center appointments.  This past year we donated $1,274.00 to these efforts in response to requests from the Office of Social Work. 
  • IHS invited three advisors to become active board members, and each accepted and fills vital volunteer roles.
    • Margaret Gorman designed the full-day Meal Packet Program and a handout for guidance, then introduced it to Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops throughout central Virginia. They are now busily producing packets for 2011 deliveries. Other interested groups may e-mail Margaret at for further ideas and guidance.
    • Jean B. Lee has arrived after retiring as Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has accepted the role of Development Officer. She has been attending CNE courses and is presently engaged in grant research and writing on behalf of IHS.
    • Danielle Devereux, a well known Charlottesville real estate broker for many years and a UVA Medical Center volunteer translator, has placed herself on standby for future projects, not the least being the IHS Vision project. Anyone interested in donating land for this long-term goal of establishing a permanent farm setting for IHS will have an expert to come and review the possibilities with the donor.
In the weeks ahead I will provide the names of those scouting groups and others who are making such a wonderful impact by producing full-day meal packets for delivery every two weeks to the UVA Medical Center Pediatric Clinic. This program is an opportunity not only for scouts, but also for church classes, clubs of all kinds, and school classes. We hope to spread production over the year, in order to meet our monthly goals.

With the Meal Packet Program in its present productive stage, monetary donations can be routed to the most demanding IHS obligation, namely lodging assistance. The colder, snowy months increase the need for lodging assistance. Your continued contributions keep the rooms available. Just sharing.

Sincerely ... T. Wade