The Mansion Needs Help
The Mansion needs help in purchasing a van so the residents can get out and take care of themselves and be connected to the world. I remember when they first came to see Maria and I, they pulled up in a beat-up old van. I recall wondering how long it would last. They need a new one and have put up a gofundme page to help get one.
We raised $2,500 the first day, $7,500 to go.
The people in the Mansion are worthy, and so are the people who own and run the Mansion. They are deserving of help.
They are in desperate need of a van so they can transport the residents to their doctor's appointments, go on field trips (like visiting farms and parks and stores) and to tend to other personal and family needs. Sometimes, the staff takes the residents to go to government offices and fill out the staggering paperwork it takes them to get on Medicaid and shut down their exterior lives.
Last year, the van took one resident to go the funeral of her dog Katie, whom she sent to live with her sister when she came to assisted care.
The financing behind assisted care facilities is complex. Some charge a lot of money that affluent people can afford. Care is based on fees, which rise depending on the services people want.
The Mansion is a Medicaid facility, and their mission is different. They provide a high level of care to people who are not affluent, they are the only Medicaid facility for many miles. There are no extra fees for them to charge, the residents have no extra money. The Mansion is the last stop for them.
The Mansion depends on government reimbursements, which are complex, low and almost certain to get lower.
They need to get the van now, because it seems that soon, and sadly, it will only get harder.
George Scala, the owner of the Mansion, has gathered enough money to pay for 50 per cent of the van, but needs $10,000 to make the purchase. Because of the improvements he made to the Mansion and another facility, he can't get financing from a bank. The banks are not optimistic about future government funding for the elderly.
George launched a gofundme page yesterday, it is off to a wonderful start. The page raised more than $2,400 in just one afternoon and evening.
George Scala cares much more about the residents than the money, which is why he spends all of his on keeping the place comfortable and well staffed with good people. I've been to many assisted care facilities with Red, and the Mansion is unique, it is suffused with love and care. I can tell the minute I walk into a place just how much love and care there is, it envelops the Mansion.
Twenty per cent in the first day is great, I hope we can keep it going. Some people asked me why the Mansion was choosing gofundme, which takes seven per cent of the money. I recommended this approach, so that they can reach beyond the readers of the blog, and out into the country.
My blog readers are supporting immigrants, sending gifts to the Mansion residents, and I thought it only fair to share the load. On the donation list, I see many familiar names and thank you. These donations are small which is touching in and of itself.
"If we can all donate just a little, we can make this happen," wrote Christ McC, "you are all in our prayers." In the past few months I have come to love the residents and staff of the Mansion, we are like family, the family I never really had. The residents insisted I come to dinner when Maria went to India, and Katie Perez, the Mansion director, brought in a bowl of Arroz Con Polo (chicken and rice) that her husband Jim made for me.
They don't know that Maria never cooks, but the food was great both times.
Christine grasps the idea of crowdsourcing: a lot of people giving small amounts, it is easier on everyone and much more democratic. You give if you wish, not if you don't.
Helen Golden donated $100 and actually thanked me for giving her the opportunity. Sometimes you just want to cry at the goodness of people. In our world beyond, some hearts have turned to stone. Not so with the Army Of Good. Helping others keeps the heart warm and full of love.
The van is the residents lifeline. Without it, they can go nowhere, their lives become even more bounded. They have given up enough. They are dependent on a van.
Last week, one resident was driven to a funeral of a close relative. Another went to her doctor, and another went to Saratoga to an outlet to buy socks and underwear. Almost all of the outside recreation they go on is through van transport. Some of the residents have no family, others rarely see their family members.
Our government is offering less and less support to the elderly, it appears that the rest of us will have to make up the difference. I'm in, and I thank you for understanding and helping. I hope we can get to $10,000. You can see the gofundme page here.
Did I say thank you?