From the Heart: Continuing the Journey
Join Us in this $50,000 Invitational Tribute Opportunity
Thanks to the efforts of our dedicated volunteers and committed suppport of our partners, the Vashon Care Network has accomplished the following goals set in 2022. Here are some of the major items on that checklist:
We moved much of the Care Closet inventory into the two beautiful new barns last summer.
Our steadfast Care Closet volunteers, including four new recruits, worked tirelessly to find the right piece of equipment and the proper supplies for the daily requests received on our website and phoneline. We now have a resident “fixer” to make sure our wheelchairs and walkers work well and a tech wiz who monitors our loans on computer software called MyTurn.
In response to the close to 100 calls or contacts we receive monthly, we served 317 families with 1,257 separate pieces of equipment. Many additional people, approximately three per week, were provided essential products such as incontinence supplies.
We recycled eleven truckloads of surplus equipment and supplies to our longtime mainland partners, Gateway Medical Alliance and Bridge Disabilities Ministries for re-distribution to neighbors in need, both here and abroad.
Vashon Caregiver Support
We helped seven new caregivers complete their Home Care Aide certificates through Cornerstone Healthcare Training. The Church kindly loaned us the space to carry out in-person skills sessions. Most of these caregivers are actively serving low-income Vashonites, referred by the Washington State Department of Health and Social Services. Their gift of this work is a blessing on the entire community.
We supported island caregivers with inspirational and practical workshops including a presentation by Jonathan Prescott in September, on “Wise Conversation about Balance and Boundaries” that was attended by over 75 people. Additionally, we were able to gather 25 caregivers for a delightful picnic in the height of summer, to honor their work and to roll out our new website service that lists Island caregivers by credentials and availability. This resource is updated monthly and can be used by anyone on our website, vashoncarenetwork.org.
In December we resurrected a tradition Chris Jovanovich and Bridget Webb created years ago for the folks living in affordable housing. Generous souls from churches, businesses, and VCNvolunteers created decorated boxes of givable items, just in time for the holidays. Mugs with tea, caps, games, books, new socks and jackets were distributed to the common areas of the five Vashon Household facilities. Many smiling faces resulted.
Continuing Our Work and New Projects for 2023
Our plans for the new year include growing our presence in the community, making more folks aware of the resources available. One group we especially want to reach out to is the Spanish speaking communities on Vashon. To that end we have set aside funding to hire a cultural consultant to help us translate our website and various materials into
Spanish. Additionally, we will participate in a spring Health Fair designed to serve uninsured folks on the island.
As always we seek to nourish professional and family caregivers in whatever ways we can. We hope to sponsor a
major self-care retreat, as well as provide a monthly professional led support group for professional and family caregivers.
Finally, we will continue to refine our online resources for information and referral. We hope to make our inventory available online, much like the Tool Library and Instrument Library, so folks can better choose equipment to serve their needs. This project will also install wi-fi connection to the barns.
The Care Closet
As well as our Vashon community support, we note with deep gratitude that the mission, services and administration of the Vashon Care Network are performed and delivered entirely by our dedicated volunteers.
Please accept our invitation to join this committed group of our fellow islanders.
Thanks for all that you do for us and thanks for you!
The Vashon Care Network is a (501) (c) (3) nonprofit charitable organization registered with the Internal Revenue Service (EIN 83-2514438) and incorporated in the State of Washington.