Thursday, June 7, 2012

May 2012 Surprise from J&E Berkley Foundation

Another Postal Delight

On May 16th Elisheva drove down to the Palmyra Post Office, reached into the Post Office Box and pulled out a stack of letters, the first few being hotel bills. There  on the bottom was a single letter from Chris Pasmore, Executive Director of the J&E Berkley Foundation.

She immediately called, her voice emotional, as she read the opening paragraph over the cell phone. She couldn't wait to allow me to know of its contents.

She read the opening paragraph which said, "The J&E Berkley Foundation considered your grant request at a meeting held on May 1, 2012. It is my pleasure to inform you that a grant of $10,000 was awarded to Interfaith Humanitarian Sanctum, Inc. and to be used in your proposal dated March 31, 2012. Enclosed is an official check in the amount of $10,000."

Another generous response to help secure more categories of support had just arrived. To the Board of J&E Berkley Foundation, we are very appreciative.

Funding support at the right time

This is IHS's second grant since its inception, the first being the Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band in CACF. That grant last December was sought solely for the immediate support of the IHS Food Program, especially since the UVA Hospitality House had just lost its only stable supplier of food for residents who stay there. So - the Dave Matthews grant was dedicated to meet food needs for 2012.

This new grant, although requested for broader assistance for several categories, is however mostly aimed at the increasing need for (1) prescriptions, (2) co-pay, and (3) transportation for indigent clients through the UVA Office of Social Work. Transport funds also include local bus tickets for local patients to have a means to come and go for appointments in Charlottesville.  Last year's total IHS request for these categories which are managed within Social Work was only $1,100.  The projection now is four times that amount!

That's right ... Four times as much funding may be needed for 2012-2013

I was informed that about $4,800 could be needed for those three categories. It was evident that present private donations are not arriving to secure this increase; therefore, this grant arrived just at the time to meet initial expectations.

Within a week of receiving the grant, UVA Social Work was provided $1,000 to secure immediate needs. With this donation, plus prescriptions over the last few months, IHS funding for these categories has already passed the total request for last year.  If the budget holds as projected, the balance of the grant will be used as needed for lodging, the one category which can fluctuate greatly from month to month.

In closing this very positive note ...

Remember ...  the reality which every single social worker will confront over the course of a year usually happens multiple times. There will be those with not a penny for lodging, food, a necessary pain medication, a small co-pay to secure that medication, a bus ticket to cross town for treatment, or a baby seat to get an infant home safely.  Hospitality House and Ronald McDonald House may be full at the end of a day, and a family far from home needs to stay over to make sure that that small growth just detected is not something deadly. A Mother and infant have arrived by bus or Medicaid taxi a day early. The infant has surgery day after tomorrow.  There are NO such things as free rooms waiting to host them and a full-day meal to get through the night and next day.
But wait!  That's NOT true anymore.  IHS is that temporary answer to get through a few days, having a medication, having a bus ticket. We are so fortunate to be able to participate 24/7 with social workers  when there is no one else to call.  We only survive  and thrive because of contributions  from hospital employees through the CVC program, private donors locally and throughout Virginia, and from  Foundations such as J&E Berkley and the Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band in CACF.

We are ALL a part of the HOPE for the least able among us.  Remember our saying and hold it dearly, "You don't have to know someone to be a friend."

Blessings ... T. Wade