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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