Among the things that cause us concern and worry is our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). These front line, amazing, committed professionals are doing the exact opposite of what most of the rest of us are doing. As we seek the safety of our homes, of being connected to our families and looking after them as is our natural instinct, our DSPs, our front line leaders, our nurses, our maintenance crew…so many of us are doing the exact opposite.
 
We see the rightful celebration of the world’s healthcare professionals, the doctors and nurses that are on the front lines themselves, putting themselves in harm’s way to protect the rest of us. My brother in law is a physician—he is tired and operates in a constant state of worry about his patients, his daughters and his amazing bride, my sister. I have texted him many times just to say thank you, and to tell him I love him. He deserves my thanks, and he and all his colleagues deserve our gratitude.
 
So too, if not even more so do our DSPs and our nurses and our maintenance crew and our front line leadership deserve our deep and abiding thanks. They would be forgiven for considering their own health and the health and wellbeing of their families and friends first and foremost. But our JFGH staff--heroes by any definition--come to work, committed to the incredible people to whom JFGH provides support. They are our leaders in this health crisis.
As our staff is the front lines of this fight, we need your support to help cover costs as overtime and staffing has increased exponentially and purchases for personal protective equipment (PPE) have significantly increased. Please consider a gift to JFGH’s COVID-19 Relief Fund to help with these expenses. Your generosity will allow us to make every effort to shower our heroes, and those they support, with PPE and other needs to get them through this. We are all in this together and we need you to help us reward our heroes. Help us #SpreadTheGood!
We also want to pause for a very special birthday wish. About 36 years ago, Bob Cohen joined with other leaders in the community to imagine a radical way of supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the community, and Bob co-created our very own Jewish Foundation for Group Homes. Surely no one could have imagined an organization that supports more than 200 people, employs more than 300 people, and provides a continuum of supports in both Maryland and Virginia. This week, Bob celebrated his 93 rd trip around the sun. Happy Birthday, Bob!
Thanks so much for your continued support and encouragement. It’s true, we are charting a course that has never before been charted. We have no precedent on which to rely, no formal guidance that is built on experience. And yet we’ve seen a community become richer for coming together. Our focus has become laser sharp, and our commitment greater than we might have imagined possible. We are together. And, we got this.

We will be in touch again next Friday, or sooner as circumstances warrant. In the meantime, you may reach out to Donyale Hobson-Garcia, Chief Programs Officer ( dhobsongarcia@jfgh.org ) or me ( dervin@jfgh.org ) with any questions.

David

David Ervin, JFGH CEO