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UMRC, Porter Hills Foundations raise $1 million for COVID-19 emergency fund

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Lisa French for the information in this story.)

The UMRC Foundation and Porter Hills Foundation are proud to announce the success of their COVID-19 Emergency Fund in support of direct care team members at UMRC & Porter Hills.

Together, the foundations have raised over $1 million, $767,000 of which has already been dispersed to help address the emergency needs of frontline team members shore to shore.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic began, UMRC and Porter Hills knew the strain this would put on our dedicated ‘Healthcare Heroes’ and their families,” said Wendy Brightman, president of the UMRC Foundation and Porter Hills Foundation in a press release. “With children out of school, spouses without work, older family members to care for – we wanted to do all we could to help our 740 direct care team members and honor the sacrifices they are making to provide extraordinary care for the older adults and families we serve at UMRC and Porter Hills. Our foundation teams set out immediately, on March 16, to launch the COVID-19 Emergency Fund campaign.”

The UMRC Foundation and Porter Hills Foundation created a multi-faceted campaign, including written appeals, e-mail, and phone and video calls to individual donors as well as grant writing to local agencies and foundations.

Two anonymous matching grants of $250,000 each were key in launching this initiative, said Brightman.

“We are blessed to have such generous donors who believe in and support the excellent care and services our frontline team members provide every day to older adults. The matching aspect of their gifts encouraged others to give as well. In just three months, we have received 564 generous gifts, totaling $1,092,044. Twenty-five percent of these were from donors who made their first gift ever to this campaign. Each gift will serve the region the donor intended,” she said.

The COVID-19 Emergency Fund has made an immediate and positive impact for frontline team members of UMRC and Porter Hills, covering such needs as childcare, mortgage and rent bills, utilities, food and essentials, personal protective equipment (PPE), appreciation stipends, and much more.

In addition, this fund provides a “self-care” allowance for care team members working with residents with COVID-19, covering hotel stays and meals so they would not have to worry about bringing the virus home to their families. It also provided $1,000 for each direct care team member who tested positive for COVID-19.

For one assisted living caregiver who is studying to become a nurse and who has contracted the virus, the COVID-19 Emergency Fund has been a Godsend. “Thanks to this fund, my rent bill was covered, giving me one less thing to worry about. I can never say ‘thank you’ enough.”

“Our frontline team members have felt the emotional and financial strain of COVID-19,” said Brightman. “Still, their vocational calling leads them toward the danger of this virus in order to care for older adults who have been the most susceptible to the illness. We are honored to be able to provide this support for our Healthcare Heroes.”

For more ways to support the UMRC Foundation and Porter Hills Foundation, including the Emergency Aid and Staff Scholarship Funds for team members, contact Wendy Brightman at 734-433-1000 ext. 7502 or 616-577-2297.

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