End of Life Care, Penfield, NY (585) 381-0890

December 2020

Dear Shepherd Home Volunteers and Supporters,

As we at Shepherd Home continue to navigate the ever-changing and unpredictable COVID-19 crisis, we remain committed to keeping you all informed and up to date on the organizational status of Shepherd Home.

 We continue to evaluate the potential for reopening on an ongoing basis as new key information becomes available. We do so with the health and safety of potential residents, our staff and volunteers as the top priority. We want to ensure that our message with respect to reopening the home remains consistent and clean. It is the belief of our management team and our board of directors that until there is a COVID-19 vaccine, we cannot safely reopen while ensuring that we can safely provide the exceptional care that Shepherd Home has become known for over the years.

 I have been a member of the board for nearly three years and in that time I have seen time and again just how amazing the work done by our team of employees and volunteers is and how it impacts not only residents during their stay but also how it impacts families within our community in a meaningful and lasting way. While the continued execution of this mission is so important, we must also remember that the safety and well-being of those we touch is paramount.

 We appreciate the continued support that has been shown by our volunteers and supporters during this difficult time shared by all.   Shepherd Home has been able to maintain a relatively stable financial position during the COVID-19 crisis due to the actions of our staff in obtaining government relief and taking measures to reduce costs. As we look forward to 2021 continuing in this environment with no additional government relief packages on the horizon, we urge our supporters to keep Shepherd Home in your thoughts when giving.  Shepherd Home continues to be wholly funded through fundraising and charitable giving which can create a significant disadvantage during this crisis which makes it difficult to put on the usual annual fundraising events.

 Management and the board of directors continue to think outside the box for creative ways to continue to raise funds while keeping the community engaged and safe at the same time.  We ask that you keep Shepherd Home in your thoughts and continue to look for communications of opportunities to participate and show your support.

Please direct any questions or concerns you have to either Ashley or the Board. We serve you, our community, and are happy to hear from you.


Jonathan Semmler, CPA


October 2020

Dear Shepherd Home Volunteers and Supporters,

As a board member at Shepherd Home for seven years, our mission in providing comfort care is near and dear to my heart. It never ceases to amaze me the incredible, quality service we provide with a 100% grassroots model. Most of our donations are individual donors who were personally touched by Shepherd Home’s end of life care.
The COVID-19 crisis is a challenge everywhere. Whether we are directly or indirectly affected, it’s a year like no other. The leadership at Shepherd Home were forced to test our commitment to mission-based management. We make our decisions based on our values. The decisions to pause resident admissions was the hardest decision we ever had to make. Ultimately, the health and safety of our volunteers rises above all other desires.
We make decisions toward reopening in 3-month increments, with a realistic appreciation of the fact that it might be a full year before we accept another resident. We must be transparent about our intentions. Until there is a  vaccine and/or cure, we cannot safely care for residents. Ashley is currently working on tentative plans for the possibility of accepting a resident in either 3, 6, or 12 months. As a Board of Directors, we actively address the fundraising impacts of each plan.
The cost of maintaining the home is lessened while we are closed to residents. We are incredibly blessed to have the foresight of the founders who created the Endowment at the Rochester Community Foundation should be need our “rainy day” fund. Due to pandemic funding and the PPP, we did not need to access those funds for 2020. We are financially sound, with much of this attributed to Ashley Tack’s sound financial oversight.
Please direct any questions or concerns you have to either Ashley or the Board. We serve you, our community, and are happy to hear from you.
In service,
Lizz Ortolani, LAH, LMSW
Vice Chair


September 2020

Dear Shepherd Home Volunteers and Supporters,

My name is Mary Drechsler and I am a past family member of a resident, a hands-on volunteer and the current Board Chair of Shepherd Home.

I have had the joy of meeting many of you at various Shepherd Home sponsored events or working side by side with you as a volunteer. 

I am reaching out on behalf of the Board of Directors regarding the current status of Shepherd Home.  During these unusual times of a global pandemic, Shepherd Home has had to make difficult decisions to ensure the safety of residents, their families, staff and volunteers.   

In consultation with Ashley, the Board of Directors met on Monday, August 17th to discuss re-opening Shepherd Home in the fall of 2020.  The board voted unanimously that Shepherd Home remain unavailable to welcome residents through the remainder of 2020. I chose these words specifically, because Shepherd Home is still “open” and providing community support.  We all believe that keeping residents, their families, our staff and our  volunteers safe, is the most important action we can take to ensure that Shepherd Home will be in our community for many years to come. We are currently planning to start welcoming residents sometime in January of 2021. Ashley will continue to keep everyone up to date on the plans.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Shepherd Home

Mary Drechsler
Board Chair

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