Phoenix Holocaust Association is leading the charge to provide meaningful gratitude to essential workers on the frontlines of COVID-19: caregivers in assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing facilities.
The goal for the initiative is to give every caregiver employed in several different Valley senior residences a grocery store gift card of at least $50.
Certified Nursing Assistants and other designated caregivers in senior residential facilities assist the elderly with bathing and bathroom functions, dressing, eating, mobility and taking medications. They provide intimate help to people at greatest risk of contracting and dying of COVID-19.
Worldwide, elderly residents of senior facilities constitute the greatest concentrations of coronavirus fatalities.
Caregiver work in senior residences is crucial and demanding, and is typically done with great patience and respect. But with a national average hourly wage of $12, caregivers often work multiple jobs at different facilities just to make ends meet, according to a press release. This increases their own, and their families’ exposure to the coronavirus.
In addition to a $5,000 grant PHA has received from Albertson’s-Safeway, PHA launched a GoFundMe campaign on June 8 to raise additional funds to meet the project’s immediate goal of $10,000.
Because they quickly exceeded this goal they have added an additional senior facility and reset their goal to $15,000. PHA hopes to continue adding facilities, to provide gift cards to more caregivers, as long as fundraising remains strong.
The first senior facilities to participate in the campaign include The Palazzo, a private, full-continuing care community in Phoenix that is home to Jewish Family & Children’s Services’ Senior Enrichment Center; Belmont Village, a private assisted living and memory care facility in Scottsdale; Kivel Campus of Care, a non-profit, HUD-subsidized independent and assisted living and memory care facility in Phoenix with a mission to serve the Jewish community; and Friendship Village Tempe, a non-profit continuing care retirement community.
PHA has been reaching out to local organizations and faith congregations to assist with promoting the caregiver appreciation campaign.
Groups currently on board to help include the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix, Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival, NowGen Phoenix, Arizona Jewish Historical Society, Bureau of Jewish Education, Arizona Faith Network, Arizona Interfaith Movement, Temple Solel, Congregation Ruach Hamidar – Spirit of the Desert, Congregation Kehillah, Congregation NefeshSoul, and Congregation Beth Tefillah.
Any organization or religious congregation wishing to support the initiative should contact PHA.
Individuals who want to donate to the campaign can visit the GoFundMe page. https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-us-recognize-our-caregivers