Monday, December 31, 2012

Yes Virginia ... It Was a Productive Year ... Thanks to Your Support

We don't have the luxury of contributors who would like to match your donations, but we promise to  continue to use every penny to serve those distance patients and families through UVA social staff to meet some very basic immediate needs. Those needs include shelter and food while coming from hundreds of miles for a chance to see a doctor.  And we promise to continue as a no paid group of volunteers to maintain a 24/7 presence for social workers, while using our own personal funds in this worthy task. That is how we plan to match your consideration with whatever is possible to assist in the year ahead. 

  Allow for just a Moment for us to share the Difference this Charity has made in 2012

IHS provided 109 commercial hotel rooms which temporarily served 191 guests who could not be accommodated in the UVA Hospitality House (HH), and paid for extended stays for 14 guests who could not afford the smallest fee at HH.

IHS provided full-day meals through Social Workers who identify caregivers who are underfunded for their temporary stay near a loved one. More specifics below.

IHS provided emergency co-pay and prescriptions as requested by social workers for indigent patients.

IHS will have provided 45 infant car seats by this weekend for parents leaving the hospital with their child, but who find themselves without funds to secure a new safety seat.

IHS asked Santa to make a Special Stop in Ivy on December 8th 

The annual Christmas gathering hosted by the Marjorie Adam Realty Team in Ivy, Virginia was once again a wonderful afternoon for Marjorie's clients and their children.  IHS asked Santa to come to Charlottesville and spend about four hours talking to children, while photos were taken for placement into family memory books.  The activity allowed attendees to donate to IHS. Many of the children return every year and apparently are being well fed, for they are growing wonderfully.  They have noticeably changed over these 5 years, but Santa doesn't seem to age.  A special thanks again to Marjorie Adam and her family for her support in this excellent fund-raising event each holiday season. 

IHS provided the Christmas Dinner Turkeys for the UVA Hospitality House

Mary Jackson, Supervisor, reported that twenty-one (21) guests enjoyed a special meal on December 25th in the Hospitality House.  Staff prepared side dishes, and IHS provided organically raised pre-cooked turkey to feed about 24 people. Whole Foods Market donated the ham for this annual dinner.  One never knows exactly how many guests will be required to stay over a holiday, while still in out-patient treatment at UVA Medical Center; however, Mary said the food provided was more than enough for this year's visitors.

In case you didn't know ...

IHS is the only consistent provider of food items every week to ten days to stock the kitchen at Hospitality House (HH). The process of providing items is handled very directly by e-mail.  Mary Jackson sends a list usually on a Friday, with those items which are running very low. For example, yesterday (Sunday) December 30, the list read as follows:  Bacon (several pounds), Milk 2 gallons, Orange juice 2 gallons, Bread (several loaves and any bakery breads you can obtain fresh or frozen), eggs 2-3 dozen, Hot pockets (large box), 20 frozen dinners, cheese (large packet), fruits (any variety in bags), fruit cups (or small cans for individual use), and Laundry detergent (any kind any size) if possible.  This list can vary and may include paper plates, cups, bowls and plastic utensils and napkins, margarine, other juices, applesauce cups, can  vegetables, cereals, coffee and filters, sugar packets, creamers, drinking water by the case, etc.  These are examples of must have items. The consistency of support provided by IHS friends and the December 2011 grant for 2012 from Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band in Charlottesville Area Community Foundation (CACF) has made it possible to meet every HH request within 24 hours.   THANKS TO ALL!

The 2012 Meal Packet Program Projection was on Target

Before this week ends, IHS will have provided 2,488 full-day meals to Social Work in year 2012.  The projection was placed in the range of 2,500-3,000. The numbers continued to slide upward, but even without an increase in numbers, food item costs to make a full-day meal of quality have increased. If you calculate 2,488 meals at about six dollars each, that's $14,928.00. To take this a step further, 1,476 full-day meals were made by volunteer groups who purchased and assembled meals as a part of their community outreach programs. If you scroll through our blog postings at, you will see the names of all those who made it possible to meet our requirement monthly.  That meant that 1,012 meals were assembled by IHS from food items purchased to meet the 2012 requirement.

Our Wish this coming year?

Quite frankly,  it's  to have more groups exposed to this charity and its never-ending effort to strengthen the safety net.  Allow us to bring more happiness to situations which need a strong injection of our community generosity.  It's not so much to ask, is it? 

Wishing You a Happy New Year & Blessings ... T. Wade and Elisheva Clegg

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thanks to December Meal Makers & the Response from a UVA Social Worker

December 5th - This was pickup day for 110 full-day meal packets made during November at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church Unitarian Universalist (TJMC UU). Leia Durland-Jones reported that the 1st-5th grade religious education classes were exploring, along with the congregation, the theme of FAMILY. Leia said,
"We know that we are all part of the human family and that it is important to help one another." She added, "Both the children and their religious education teachers enjoyed making the packets and the notes and cards that go inside each packet."
December 12th - For the second year, the Cheng family of Charlottesville made it a holiday project to collect and make 25 full-day meal packets over several months, and then deliver them to the IHS Office at 105 Crofton Plaza at Lake Monticello in the Palmyra area along with a generous check for extra needs. Thanks to Elaine and David Cheng and their children, Alex (age 7) and Kate (age 4) for their continuing support.

December 18th - This is also the second year that Boy Scout Troop 36 has gathered for an overnight lock-in party, and produced full-day meal packets. Don Kimpel helped the scouts organize the event, which took place last weekend. IHS is picking up those 50 full-day meal packets as this notice is being released to friends of the charity.

To Lend some Perspective to what these donations mean to the Food Program

From the last week in November - December 18th, IHS will have delivered a total of 312 full-day meal packets to the Office of Social Work. December is proving to be the most active month for consumption. All social workers have access to the Social Work cabinet when a meal is needed by those in the hospital as caregivers or a family member, and are without adequate funds to eat.   As you can readily see, the above groups provided 185 meals, which has allowed more funds to remain in the IHS Food Account for making up the balance for purchases needed monthly. It is apparent that the monthly need will continue to average from 250-300 meals monthly.

An Important Note from a Social Worker which was received this past week

The following e-mail from Social Worker Elaine Finley in Pediatrics was received by Teresa Bevins, clinical social worker and monitor of the IHS Meal Program in the Office of Social Work.
She asked that Teresa copy her e-mail to IHS, and we are sharing it with Elaine's permission, so that friends of the charity will understand just one arena in the hospital where meals make a difference:
" Hi Teresa,

     Please let IHS know that the cafeteria is expensive. The only full meal (entree, side & drink) families can get for under 5 dollars is breakfast.  In the Children's Hospital our families come from all over the state due to our specialty care. Children with cancer, heart disease, CF, GI & feeding problems, and prematurity, in particular, come from far and wide to receive the best care possible for their children.

     Many bring their own food, or have extended family members bring them groceries to keep in the child's room. Our families have other children and responsibilities at home ... bills to pay, the high cost of gasoline for their trips back and forth, et cetera. It is wonderful that we can meet a basic need by providing the meal bags so generously sent to us by IHS.  

      I think it is fine to keep track of general trends on the floors. Social Workers do not have time to track individuals, which would not be appropriate due to HIPPA and need to know. If a family asks for help with a meal, we can believe that they are hungry and unable to cope with going to the cafeteria for a meal - for whatever reason. We need to be mindful that families are in crisis, stressed, focused on their sick child, and may have been caught off guard or unprepared for a hospitalization. It is embarrassing for many to ask for help.  

     The meal bags are a God send to our families. I hope they will continue to be available as the needs of our patients continue to ebb and flow.

    The Hem Onc (Hematology Oncology) families rarely use meal bags as we have other resources for our families. However, many have received a meal bag by the ED (Emergency Department) Social Worker or night nurses on the wards for an unexpected admission after hours or weekends. My families are always truly grateful for this wonderful gift. Thank you for your work with IHS for our families."  

           Elaine Finley, MSW, Social Worker, Pediatric Hematology Oncology
So - Now you know - what a difference each family, group, church or business can make.

Please review the IHS Food Program, via this link. It's really very easy to shop over the months, and allow each visit to the grocery store to be one more chance to collect a few food items. THEN - when you have whatever your objective is for delivery or pickup in the Charlottesville area, give us a call or send an e-mail to

In closing, Elaine Finley heard about the annual project by the Cheng family, which is mentioned above, and said,     
"I love the project Elaine Cheng's family does to complete 25 full-day ziplock bags. I will talk to my own family and friends about doing something like this a few times a year. Such a simple thing to do, but I never thought of it. Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas."        

Yes indeed ... as Elaine said: It is such a simple thing to do. Your participation in the year ahead is indeed appreciated.

Sincerely ... T. Wade Clegg III

Monday, December 10, 2012

First Full Year of Support

This December represents the end of an active full year with two programs to meet two unmet needs for patients and families who are here for treatment at the UVA Medical Center. IHS had paid for lodging at UVA Hospitality House as requested since 2009, but had not been involved in a consistent program for food support. IHS also began our Baby Program in support of Pediatric Clinic requests for infant child car safety seats and infant clothing.  Both programs have been extremely beneficial for recipients.

The UVA Hospitality House Food Program began one year ago on December 16, 2011

It's important to understand that the UVA Hospitality House with its thirty rooms, often filled with guests who are underfunded for their visits to UVA Medical Center, only had one small food grant which was totally inadequate and about to cease in the late months of 2011.  IHS immediately turned its attention to seeking support for a grant , in conjunction with individual contributors, for our entire food program, but with emphasis on securing a stable flow of food items and supplemental items necessary in their kitchen, as requested by Hospitality House.

Grant Received on December 14, 2011 to Support IHS Food Program

The Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band in the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation made it possible to secure deliveries made on request by the Hospitality House Supervisor throughout the entire year. This dedicated food grant assisted with funds for both IHS  Food Programs over the year, namely for Hospitality House food support and the Full-day Meal Packet Program for Social Staff distribution for caregivers and families in the UVA Medical Center.  The other funds come from generous individual donors. However, food support for Hospitality House could not have been consistent without the Bama Works Fund grant a year ago this next week. 

What was accomplished for Hospitality House Food Support over this Past Year?

As of December 1, 2012, IHS has responded with thirty-four (34) shopping trips and deliveries in the last twelve (12) months.  Supervisor Mary Jackson e-mails a specific list of food items in order to stock up the two refrigerators and cabinets in the downstairs kitchen. Sometimes, supplies may include detergent, paper plates and bowls, plastic utensils, and other necessities needed for an active kitchen. There are no designated days in IHS responses. If the cupboard is almost empty, that is the day we purchase and deliver. 

Barbara and Jan,  UVA Hospitality House (HH)staff, accepted delivery number 35 yesterday, December 9. Gypsy Gourmet Cake Lounge at Lake Monticello provided IHS with much needed items for HH: 500 plastic spoons, 575 styrofoam cups with lids, 500 cup cake holders, and a large 8 lb. can of milk fudge for baking.  Throughout the year, the small bakery has provided frozen breads for HH.

Holiday Meals for those who can't return home to be with Family

In addition, IHS paid for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals in December 2011, and for Easter, 4th of July, and Thanksgiving meals for 2012.  Christmas dinner in two weeks will also be arranged and paid for pickup by Hospitality House (HH) staff on December 24th.  It is so important to remember that most patients who stay at HH are substantially underfunded, and come to Charlottesville from great distances, and are away from family and friends. Many are here for chemotherapy and must remain over holidays. Without the care and comfort and attention by HH staff, and supported by IHS, these visitors would not have these very important holiday meals.

Just a Few Words about the Baby Program

In January 2012 the projection provided by Teresa Bevins  by all Pediatric Clinics  was a need for approximately thirty (30)  infant child car safety seats.  No child can leave the hospital which is not properly buckled up. It's the law, and if the hospital is providing a seat, then it must be new.

As of December 11, 2012 we will have obtained forty-one (41) infant car seats. There are two models: one larger seat for above 5 lbs.  and one for tiny tots from 4 lbs.  In addition, those same babies of parents who are generally pay grade one (indigent) do not have any significant clothing for the initial months of returning home; therefore, IHS has solicited donor support for both new and gently used clothing over this same period.

A Note of Thanks from Hospitality House

Thanks to all of you who have made these programs happen.  So many have been helped. Thank you for your consideration for continued support.  Please read the letter just received from Supervisor Mary Jackson, and signed by Hospitality House guests and staff.
"On behalf of the Hospitality House staff and our guests, please accept our sincere appreciation for the turkeys and ham donated by Thanksgiving Dinner. We were able to feed 20+ patients and family members. Enclosed you will find a Thank You note signed by guests attending a feast on Thanksgiving. We also enjoyed a variety of side dishes just like Grandma fixed back in the day. All staff played a part in the dinner, whether shopping, covering phones or cleaning up. Your donation helped us provide a home cooked dinner for those not able to be home for the holiday. Thank you for caring and sharing. Your kindness has touched our hearts.
                                                                          Many Blessings ... Mary Jackson"
What Can You Do To Assist?

Giving is important for sustaining these programs year round, but holiday giving can certainly make the beginning months of each year go much smoother.  As you might guess, the best way to support this charity for these specific programs is with funds. We shop for specific items as needed and look for best pricing, generally through larger purchases and using our tax exempt status. Therefore, we can make the dollars work more productively with a check for whatever one can afford to donate.

Donations may be addressed to IHS, PO Box 163, Palmyra, VA 22963, or you may direct your donations through our website and PayPal at: .

Sincerely ...  T. Wade Clegg III