08 Aug Mission Minute: Serving Our Associates
by Kathe Rae, Manager of Mission Integration and Volunteers
Recently, New Hope’s Board of Directors revised our Mission and Vision Statements to better reflect who we are now as an organization and who we are striving to be in the future. The Vision Statement says that “we will recognize our associates for their unwavering commitment to service every day and we will commit to provide them with resources to be successful both personally and professionally.” One of the ways that we are already carrying out this commitment is through the Associate Financial Assistance (AFA) program.
AFA began in July of 2018 as an interest-free loan program to assist associates experiencing financial hardships. The program was funded through donations from the Daughters of Charity, St. Vincent Health, New Hope associates and other friends of New Hope. In the first year of the program, this fund has assisted 34 associates with small, emergency loans, paying out a total of $28,640.41 to support our associates. This wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of donors like you!
While confidentiality is important and ensured, a couple of associates shared how helpful the program was for them. One associate had experienced some health issues and had to be off work. Soon after returning to work, her car broke down and she was also moving to a new home, so she requested a loan. She is very appreciative of the program, which helped her during a challenging time in her life. She added that being able to pay off the loan early with a PTO payout felt good. This past winter, another associate had costly furnace and car repairs at the same time. She was thankful for AFA and stated that she would give back by donating to the fund once her loan is paid off.
Jonel Foreste, DSP in Supported Living, is a long-term associate and saw how the similar St. Vincent loan program helped New Hope associates in years past. He was a cheerleader during the fundraising campaign for AFA and is a member of the committee which oversees the program and meets quarterly. Jonel understands and sees the real need for emergency assistance. He was so pleased when AFA was started and says that it’s a great example of how New Hope “has the back” of our associates. He is also hopeful that associates who have received loans will be encouraged to pay it forward by donating to the fund so that New Hope can continue to help people in need.
Thanks to all who have supported AFA! While we wish associates did not have to experience financial emergencies, at least New Hope can be of assistance with AFA loans. It is our sincere hope to offer additional resources and programs in the future to promote happy and healthy living for our associates.
You can donate to the AFA program or to help New Hope’s greatest need by visiting us online or mailing your gift to us at 8450 N. Payne Road, Ste. 300, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Contact Sarah Stone with questions.
Associates can learn more about AFA loans by contacting Kathe Rae.