26 Jun A Note from Allison: Finally Some Good News
Hello New Hope friends,
June has brought us some much-needed good news! All of the clients in our homes are negative for COVID-19! What else? No associates have tested newly positive since May 13th! We are finally feeling some of the weight of this spring’s work being lifted from our shoulders, and it is all thanks to the hard work of our frontline caregivers. They have worked tirelessly to provide loving service and at the same time wear PPE, keep our homes clean, the individuals we serve happy and their workplaces safe. We acknowledge that this may not be the end of COVID-19 for New Hope, but we are enjoying this moment and preparing for the future.
As we continue to move forward from our initial COVID-19 response, I am glad to say that New Hope’s Day Services Program has reopened at both Payne Road and Castleton locations with a limited number of clients at each location. These individuals returned with CDC-driven protocols to keep everyone healthy and safe while providing the enriching social interaction that Day Services has always offered. In addition to Day Services reopening, our HR and Accounting associates as well as the directors and I have returned to our offices on a staggered schedule. New Hope also began hiring new associates for the first time since March. At this time New Hope is not allowing in-person meetings or visitors at Payne Road or Castleton.
June also brought good news from the Indianapolis Star which named New Hope of Indiana a 2020 Top Workplace! Just as it did last year, this honor brings me so much pride, because it is based entirely on associate feedback. Our dedicated #TeamNewHope even earned us a special award for Training, because our associates said, “I get the formal training I want for my career.” Our associates are truly the heartbeat of our organization, and I am so grateful to be a small part of this dedicated, mission-focused, diverse team. When we announced this honor to our associates in our Town Hall last week, we asked them to tell us in just one word what makes New Hope of Indiana a Top Workplace? What did we hear the most? Teamwork! They also said compassion, dedication, quality, service…it is what every CEO wants to hear! Thank you to all of our associates for making New Hope a Top Workplace!
While I am happy to celebrate these accomplishments, I’ve also been reflecting on the recent events in our city and country which have brought a newly energized focus on the issue of systemic racism. At New Hope, we’ve always taken pride in the diversity of our associates and the individuals we serve. We serve with a vision for inclusion and justice and our Core Value of Reverence tells us that “We practice respect and compassion for the dignity and diversity of life.” However, I wonder what more can we do?
This month, I pledged to all New Hope associates and now I pledge to you that I will do better; New Hope will do better. The first step is to assemble a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (working name) to address New Hope policies and other documents that affect our associates so that we can promote the equity of each member of our New Hope family. Quite coincidentally, we had previously scheduled an unconscious bias training which was held last week for all New Hope leaders. We hope to roll this training out in some form to all associates. We are also working to change the behavior of a couple of individuals served who use racist slurs against their staff. Teaching the individuals why racial slurs are hurtful and are not to be used seems to be going very well. I understand that this is just the beginning. New Hope is not a perfect organization and I am not a perfect person, so I am open to any suggestion to make our journey one of inclusion and equity. Please let me know if you have any additional ideas on how we can improve.
As New Hope is trying to get “Back on Track” we want to also thank our donors and volunteers who have continued to support us over the last several months. We have been so grateful to receive hundreds of in-kind donations of homemade masks, household supplies, PPE, technology, games and crafts. We have also been able to offer virtual events such as Zoom Bingo, movie watching parties and Bible Study thanks to our volunteers from Northwest Indianapolis Kiwanis Club and College Park Church.
Most recently, we have been blown away by the generous support of our sponsors and donors. When we decided to cancel this year’s Silver Cup Celebration, we had no idea if our usual donors would want to contribute without the traditional event. Thanks to friends like you, we have raised over $58,000 to support our mission in this strange time. Thanks to our sponsors at Ascension St. Vincent, PNC Bank, Gregory & Appel, Conner Insurance and Bradley Associates for their continued support of the Silver Cup Celebration! Special thanks to our sponsors at Pearson Ford for matching $10,000 in donations for the event. Our donors met the match and more! If you want to be a part of this important campaign, there’s still time to give.
As usual, I am full of gratitude for our associates, families, Board of Directors, sponsors, donors and volunteers who continue to support our mission. What a great community we have here at New Hope!