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VMRC Foundation Update

April 24, 2020
Categories: Our Community

Written by Les Helmuth, Executive Director

The first confirmed coronavirus case arrived in Harrisonburg on March 12.

A lot has changed since then.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, Harrisonburg has the highest rate/100,000 residents in the Commonwealth of Virginia. VMRC has closed its campus to visitors, including family members who wish to visit their parents or grandparents, and visitors between buildings/neighborhoods.

Our work habits, travel plans, family time, and how we communicate have all changed. We’ve become dependent on the phone, texting, FaceTime, Zoom or Google HangOut, or an occasional conversation through a window. Social distancing, or physical distancing, makes us suspicious of those we meet on the sidewalk, the UPS or FedEx employee who delivers an expected package from a family member or an online order to avoid going to the store.

Anxiety has increased – especially when we can’t agree on the potential impact of coronavirus on our communities, economy, and health care systems.   

Wash your hands,” is no longer a casual suggestion, but a way of life and a sign of love for your family member or loved ones.

The VMRC Foundation cancelled the much-loved annual Leading Circle/Visionary Brunch in April and the 35th Golf Benefit in July. It will now happen in 2021 at Spotswood Country Club. We miss or will miss rekindling relationships at each of these events.  

How are we coping? We are making phone calls, texting and making video calls to our VMRC friends to keep in touch, encourage support and let you know how much we appreciate your connection to VMRC. Foundation staff are also helping with screening at VMRC entrances, assisting with resident and employee updates as well as the live-streamed Sunday morning worship services.

What hasn’t changed?   

The Good Samaritan Fund remains the Foundation’s highest priority. A Good Samaritan Fund recipient recently said to me, “I’m so grateful for the support I receive to be able to stay here, even though my retirement funds no longer allow me to pay for the full amount of my care. Please thank those who give to support the Good Samaritan Fund.”

In the last year, 29 out of 85 residents in Woodland Park benefitted from Good Samaritan Fund, along with Medicaid and other VMRC resources. They are former teachers, pastors, nurses and people you might know from your church. The Good Samaritan Fund provided 25% of their care.

In addition, we’ve added The Emergency Fund to mitigate the increased costs of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) related to COVID-19 we’re experiencing in Transitional Care, Assisted Living and Complete Living Care (Select Emergency Fund in the drop-down menu in the link). We are grateful to the many volunteers who have made cloth facemasks.

I’m reminded of Colin Gibson’s song; Nothing is Lost on the Breath of God, as I contemplate what we might learn from our experiences living through COVID-19:

Nothing is lost on the breath of God, nothing is lost forever.

God’s breath is love, and that love will remain,

Holding the world forever.

No feather too light, no hair too fine, no flower too brief in its glory

No drop in the ocean, no dust in the air,

But is counted and told in God’s story.

Nothing is lost to the eyes of God, nothing is lost forever.

God sees with love, and that love will remain,

Holding the world forever.

No journey too far, no distance too great,

No valley of darkness too blinding;

No creature too humble, no child too small for

God to be seeking and finding.

Nothing is lost to the heart of God, nothing is lost forever.

God’s heart is love, and that love will remain,

Holding the world forever.

No impulse of love, no office of care, no moment of life in its fullness;

No beginning too late, no ending too soon,

But is gathered and known in its goodness.

We are blessed by a very generous community of friends who care deeply and share freely.  

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“The response from the VMRC community of staff and residents has been quite welcoming.  We've enjoyed meeting friends old and new which has been very enriching.”

- New VMRC Resident, 2018