UCH Warriors on the Front Lines
In a world filled with stories of anxiety, a common refrain is, “What can we do?” This question is familiar to anyone in nonprofit service, especially these days. With the whole world focused on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, our first instinct is to act. Our volunteers and friends have started asking how they can make an abundant impact for our residents and staff.
This is a beautiful question.
I am reminded that United Church Homes emerged just before the worldwide Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918. United Church Homes continues its mission, despite what may become our biggest challenge in our 104-year history.
We began preparations in late January as the COVID-19 crisis gained its foothold in Washington state. Of course, we knew the virus was dangerous for older adults, especially those with other chronic conditions. So, marshalling all the information we could gather, we enhanced our policies and procedures and set up isolation areas. We then conducted additional training on the virus and how to safeguard everyone in UCH communities. And we worked with our vendors to ensure an adequate stock of food, equipment and supplies. We have hired extra help to assist with all the daily tasks our residents depend on. In the last week of March, we launched our virtual visit guide program, enabling family members and friends to connect through an iPad or tablet with our residents.
Our staff is rising to this immense challenge. You can be proud of each one of them; I know we are! If there was ever a situation that called forth the United Church Homes “Spirit,” this is it.
So, what can you do? Our faithful friends, you have stood by this organization and supported us through good times and bad. Our generous neighbors and friends have been donating games, puzzles, large-print books, craft supplies and other items keep residents involved in community life safely. Some have sent donations to help us with the added costs of providing for the residents during this pandemic.
Recalling the days of World War II, when volunteers rolled bandages, flattened cans for recycling and otherwise supported the war effort, some of you may want to sew cloth protective masks for United Church Homes residents. While we must use commercially made, medical masks for our staff, our residents can benefit from a washable, cotton cloth mask. If this interests you, you can find patterns and unitedchurchhomes.org/covid-19. Make as many as you want. Share this with sewing circles or other craft groups. If you live near one of our communities, you can bring them to us during regular business hours or you can also contact us for mailing instructions.
We are doing a lot for our residents and, with your help, we can do even more. Thanks for being such a dedicated family to United Church Homes. We couldn’t get through this without your prayers, gifts and financial contributions.
Please enjoy these stories that illustrate how generous donors like you are making an abundant impact to the people we serve at United Church Homes.
Rev. Dr. Kenneth V. Daniel
President and CEO