Thursday, May 26, 2011

When The Options are NONE!

So many of you who receive these e-mails, which are then converted to a blog entry for retention and return for review, have indicated that what is most meaningful is to learn of situations in which real dollars donated go directly for serving real people with immediate needs. 

Please know that privacy is paramount for patients being served by this charity when they arrive in Charlottesville for treatment. It is purposeful that protective measures in writing are in effect with each story.

There is a young woman from across the state who arrives on a midnight bus with her child,  walks to a local hotel, and spends the night.  The next morning she checks out of the hotel, walks to the UVA Medical Center where she is treated. Later that evening she walks back to the bus station for the long ride home.

I can tell you that the trips to Charlottesville have been more frequent. There are at least four more in 2011.  This young woman has no one to keep her child so she can come this long distance; therefore, the child has no choice but to accompany the mother for this vital treatment, which is not available to her at this time near her home town.

Please know that I asked about any possible way that the child might be kept by relatives so that the UVA Hospitality House would be available to her. That option does not exist. The ONLY opportunity for coming for these increasing  trips is when IHS books a hotel room.

This patient and child also have access to those full day Meal Packets organized through Margaret Gorman and kept in supply monthly in the UVA Medical Center Social Work Office.

Of course we worry about keeping the funding active for this individual, and the many others served monthly by this charity.  However, today as I wrote this note I was more concerned that the trips for treatment for this young woman are more frequent, and that bus ride must be taking its toll.

Perhaps it is the company of her small child that makes those night trips bearable. I only know that we will never tell her social worker that her room is not available. 

Thank you for listening ...

Blessings ... T. Wade Clegg III

Sunday, May 15, 2011

More Terrific Groups of Kids Lend a Hand!

The Helping Hands Service Club from Murray Elementary School, a group of 15 children, all 3-5th grades, delivered 75 full-day meals, plus 35 snack packets during their visit to the UVA Medical Center on May 4th. Clinical Social Worker Teresa Bevins hosted the group, showed the visitors where their production of meals is stored and answered a host of questions as to the value of their contributions.

Helping Hands was formed with a mission to introduce children about community and world needs, and what they can personally do to make things better. Teresa said that she was impressed with the group’s enthusiasm and desire to add to the Meal Program. She was really delighted to see them arrive for the presentation with their hands full of meal packets.

Jennifer LoCasale-Crouch and Adrienne Kim Bird run the Helping Hands service club. During early April Jennifer and Adrienne began communicating and working with Margaret Gorman who runs the IHS Meal Program. The children did a marvelous job of producing this large bounty, and then learned first-hand from Social Worker Bevins the numerous examples of how the meals will sustain so many caregivers in the hospital.

Girl Scout Cadette Troop 129 from Henley Middle School is presently composed of 11 sixth grade girls (age 12). Jennifer Bryerton and Lynn Bradley are the adults leading the troop, which meets every other Sunday at Olivet Presbyterian Church in Ivy.

Connie Alexander, one of the Troop mothers, delivered Troop 129’s meal production to IHS on May 3rd. The girls produced 20 full-day meal packets and 32 single meal packets.
Lynn Bradley said, “The girls enjoyed planning the contents of the bags, shopping for items and stuffing the bags. We follow the good example of service to the community and feel that this effort is just a small step to help those who are recuperating or tending to sick loved ones at UVA Medical Center.”

First United Methodist Preschool in Charlottesville organized the 14 kids in the class for a very special first-time project. Each child was assigned the task of making one complete meal packet and the opportunity to make a card to insert into the complete packet. The class is composed of 3 and 4 year olds. The group must have involved their teachers, since the “one Child, One Packet” project delivered 16 complete full-day meals to Margaret Gorman.

Paige Lindblom, the school director, along with organizing teachers Megan Bisset and Mary K. Carroll, were proud of the children’s enthusiasm. Erin Rothman, whose son Elliott was one of the workers, produced a full meal packet for the project. Erin related that when she told Elliott about the idea, he helped her do all the shopping, including picking out the foods he thought would be healthy and good.

Thanks to everyone involved above. Your joint productivity has met our needs for May!

Blessings ... T. Wade Clegg III

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Why This Charity Is So Important!

Some days are simply more treasured than others. This was such a day, May 4, 2011. I went to the post office in Palmyra and found two letters in our box. One was that ever faithful monthly check from a small Catholic Church in Abingdon, Virginia. The other was a handwritten letter on lined paper, and folded multiple times, so as to keep it secret until opened.

On the outside in large letters the words:
 "Thank You with Prayers and Appreciation and Love."
"Dear Rev. T. Wade Clegg,

   Our family would like to thank you for furnishing us a motel room. If  it weren't for you renting us that room in Charlottesville, VA, we would have not got to make the 6 hour trip there. My Mother nor I would have got to get to see our doctors. We also have a 2-year old and a 4-year old that has to make the trips with us. So we would like to say THANK YOU and MAY GOD RICHLY BLESS YOU ALL. With all the prayers and appreciation for this. Thank you.  Me and my whole family."
(This letter is signed by each member, even the pre-schoolers)

In the almost three years since we began this effort, this is only the second personal note from someone who has received assistance. That is because IHS is not known by recipients. In this case, the recipient wanted to know from the social worker who to thank.  Today was another pay day for all of us, including all the volunteers, donors, scouts and Sunday schools who make it possible for this family and so many others to have lodging and food. If not available, quite simply these trips would be postponed and vital treatment neglected.

This is why this charity is so very important.

Blessings ... T. Wade Clegg III