The Phoenix Holocaust Association has launched an initiative to show gratitude to caregivers in assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing facilities. The goal of the initiative is to give every caregiver employed at several different Phoenix Valley senior residences a grocery store gift card of at least $50.
Vice President of PHA, Janice Friebaum, had the idea when Jewish organizations came together to provide lunches to doctors and nurses. She has family in New York City and noticed the attention the nurses and doctors received after their shift changes.
“It’s easy to take the most visible faces of the front line of battling the virus – the doctors and nurses – and thank them,” says Janice. “I’ve seen the work that caregivers do in senior facilities. Most of them make at or near minimum wage. They don’t get the attention like doctors and nurses but they are on the front line.”
She thought, “Is there anything we can do to show appreciation to them?”
Janice shared her thoughts with PHA’s board of directors. Part of PHA’s mission is to do tikkun olam, deeds that will repair the world, so helping the community is part of the scope of what they do. “I didn’t have to work very hard to convince the board to take it on,” says Janice.
They decided on the idea to present the caregivers with gift cards to grocery stores.
Janice applied for a donation from Albertsons-Safeway and within 24 hours was approved for $5,000.
In addition to that grant, PHA launched a GoFundMe campaign on June 8 to raise funds to meet the project’s immediate goal of $10,000. “We’re hoping to exceed that amount so that we can offer more gift cards to more facilities than we have already coordinated,” says Janice.
The first senior facilities to participate in the campaign include The Palazzo, a private, full-continuing care community in Phoenix that is home to Jewish Family & Children’s Services’ Senior Enrichment Center; Belmont Village, a private assisted living and memory care facility in Scottsdale and Kivel Campus of Care, an independent senior living and assisted living facility in Phoenix.
PHA has just begun reaching out to local organizations and faith congregations to promote the caregiver appreciation campaign. Groups currently on board to help include the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix, NowGen Phoenix, Arizona Jewish Historical Society, Bureau of Jewish Education, Jewish Family & Children’s Service, Arizona Faith Network, and Congregation Ruach Hamidar – Spirit of the Desert. Any organization or religious congregation wishing to support the initiative should contact PHA.
Individuals who wish to donate to the campaign can visit the GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/f/help-us-recognize-our-caregivers.