Jed A. Levine
President & CEO
A client recently took the time to let me know how much our programs and services mean to her. “My reason for writing this letter is to say “thank you” to CaringKind in general as well as to support group leader Mike Koski in particular. As I am certain you have heard countless times before, having a parent with dementia is a nightmare, and as nightmarish as my experience has been, I know for certain that I could not have coped as well as I did without the support of the CaringKind Support Group and without our facilitator who provided a safe space to openly speak about the most difficult of feelings.”
This letter, and the countless others that I receive, reinforces our commitment to our core mission: providing programs and services for individuals and families affected by a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. And, as we work hard to ensure that we have the resources to continue to meet the increasing demand for our services, we are grateful to the individuals, foundations and corporate supporters who are making it possible to sustain our work and to grow to meet an exponentially increasing demand.
We thank the PARC Foundation, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for renewed and generous funding to support specific programs. These gifts from prestigious funders are a reflection of the esteem in which CaringKind is held and the belief in our work and our ability to deliver quality services. Yet, they are only a part of the solution.
As 2019 begins, I am particularly grateful for two things. First, the dedicated work of our outstanding staff who work tirelessly to meet the needs of our community, making themselves available seven days a week to ensure that every client is served. Second, I am grateful to the many clients and supporters who express their thanks with generous contributions to sustain us and to ensure that others, less fortunate than themselves, can access our programs.
We need their help and yours. CaringKind is over 95% privately funded and, as the aging population grows and more New Yorkers will need our help, the increase of families affected by a dementia diagnosis will become increasingly a community problem. We all have a role to play.
If you have been helped by one of our services, spoken to one of the social workers, called the Helpline, had your relative located through our MedicAlert Wanderer’s Safety Program, attended an education meeting, Family Caregiver Workshop or support group, learned about Palliative Care for persons with dementia, or spent time in one of our cultural arts programs, please consider making a gift. And if you can, schedule a gift through your bank or company. Monthly gifts are an easy, affordable way to express your appreciation and ensure that we are here for the community when they need us. And, we know they will. (To make a monthly gift, please visit caringkindnyc.org, click on “donate”, and choose “once a month”.)
I look forward to seeing you at CaringKind on Wednesday, May 1st for the Lorraine Halis Lecture on the Art and Science of Caregiving with guest Tia Powell, MD, Director of the Montefiore Einstein Center for Bioethics, and author of “Dementia Reimagined: Building a Life of Joy and Dignity from Beginning to End.” Dr. Powell is an extraordinary speaker and has much to share with us about the challenges and potential in caregiving.
On behalf of our staff and our Board, I wish you good health, prosperity and peace in 2019. Until there is a cure, prevention or way of slowing down dementia, CaringKind is here for you. With your help, we can ensure that future generations have the resources they need.
P.S. Next newsletter I will report on my fascinating and eye-opening trip to Shenzhen China, leading a team of CaringKind staff that was invited to bring our model of care and support to over 150 Chinese health care professionals.