Thursday, March 17, 2011

Social Worker Comments Are So Valuable ....

Allow me to share ...

a personal note from UVA Cancer Center Social Worker Vikki Bravo. Vikki's comments are gratifying, and although specific examples of our assistance are not possible due to privacy issues, the following note is appreciated. There is an increasing need to assist cancer outpatients who are staying for extended periods at UVA Hospitality House, and IHS is making every effort to assist with fees beyond temporary stays.

Vikki said the following:
"There are often patients who come to the UVA Medical Center who have to be here overnight(s) and have no funds for lodging or food. Sometimes they cannot stay at our Hospitality House because the house is full, or because they are traveling with underage children, or other reasons. Without the help of IHS in providing a place to stay and food to eat, they would be unable to come here. There are many logistics involved in getting medical care here, including transportation, lodging, food, time, money, caring for children or pets at home, and missing work. These funds for hotel rooms and to pay for Hospitality House have made the difference between getting necessary medical care and not getting it. It's not enough to have great technology and great doctors and nurses. These other services are vital. Without these services, there are people who would be unable to come here for care."
Thought you should know...

This first quarter of 2011 has been just as active as the previous year for lodging and food requests. The full-day Meal Packet Program originated by Margaret Gorman has received marvelous support from several scouting and Sunday school classes, but funds for commercial lodging and assistance at UVA Hospitality House has been very weak over the last few months.

The holiday donations have run their limit, and we are very much in need of any contributions from friends who are not consistent monthly donors. If $25-$50 is possible in your giving fund this month, please know that it is needed.

Our personal funding continues ...

but larger weddings have tended to diminish over the last year. As most of you know, Elisheva and I are interfaith ministers who are full-time non-paid volunteers, and we allow a significant part of every private ministerial fee (weddings, vow renewals, memorials, funerals, baby ceremonies, private counseling, etc.) to be donated directly to IHS for a tax deductible contribution. This is our continued contribution which allows families to be a part of the giving, but periodic support presently is only coming from past family affiliations from these ministerial services.

Grant research is presently being pursued. We are hopeful that with the involvement in the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC) for state worker contributions this year that awareness of IHS participation as an eligible charity will have a favorable impact.

We are also hopeful that...

families, church groups, Sunday school classes, girl and boy scout troops will continue to contact Margaret Gorman for guidance in making those full-day meal packets for cumulative monthly delivery to the UVA Medical Center to meet caregiver needs. What a marvelous opportunity to engage any age group of children, and Margaret has extensive experience with such a program.

For those of you who are not in Central Virginia or have a group of adults or kids to support with their purchase and assembling of meal packets, then we would be delighted to receive a check to meet the range of unmet needs for people who come to Charlottesville to be served by the University of Virginia Medical Center.

Blessings ... T. Wade Clegg III

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Crozet, VA Boy Scout Troop 79 Made a Big Difference This Month!

Their goal was to produce one hundred full-day meal packets in support of the IHS food program for caregivers and outpatients who come to the UVA Medical Center from all over Virginia, and more frequently from other states. Crozet Scout Troop 79 exceeded their original objective by producing 119 packets.

Such a project entails more than just the very deliberate buying of supplies, which represents a value of no less than $595.00. The attention to nutritious food purchases, the time and effort for assembling into gallon-size zip-lock bags with paper microwave bowls and utensils, then boxing for delivery, requires considerable organization.

Mike Marshall, editor of the Crozet Gazette, visited the assembly session and provided an article which is accessed below. Please take a moment to read about another important group of kids with a very giving attitude. Troop 79 is lead by Scoutmaster Gary Conley. Life Scout Ryan Evans organized the food collection. The supporting cast of up-front Scout mothers deeply involved were Jan Baer, Amy Evans and Margaret Gorman.

These specific meals were delivered on March 3rd to the UVA Social Work Office under the capable direction of Manager Noel Dianas-Hughes. The Social Work monitor of the IHS caregiver food program is Teresa Bevins, Clinical Social Worker in the UVA Pediatric Clinic.

Remember - any group (boy and girl scouts, church classes, school clubs, or neighborhood efforts) can add to the monthly collection needed to sustain this on-going program. For detailed guidance simply send a note to Margaret Gorman, the IHS Meal Program Guide at

Don't forget...$5 buys a full-day meal; $10 provides a stay in UVA Hospitality House; and $50 allows for placement in a hotel room for these families in a desperate time in their lives. Yes - it is only temporary assistance, but all too often it is the only assistance available when a social worker calls.

We very much need your present attention to cover lodging and co-pay bills for February 2011. Keep us in your thoughts with even a small donation. There were no large supporting funding programs, as we experienced last year with Whole Foods 5% Day, which paid for winter lodging bills.

This season we are solely dependent on YOU...individuals who know us.

Blessings ... T. Wade