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|2011 Annual Report|
Leadership Perspective: A Note from President & CEO Chuck Gehring
As I write this message for our annual report, we are completing one of the most difficult weeks in the 114-year history of LifeCare Alliance. It is early July, and many of our clients (and many of you) have been without power for a week in record high temperatures. Ohio was devastated by winds in excess of 80 miles per hour and our people -- especially the elderly and medically challenged -- needed assistance.
With so many of our clients without power, we needed to provide additional services, and we needed to do it quickly. That is where our incredible staff and our 7,600 volunteers stepped up! Throughout this time, YOU gave your time for extra meal deliveries, including evening meal deliveries, for the first time in the history of the agency. YOU delivered thousands of meals –literally - in temperatures approaching 100 degrees. YOU also continued to deliver fans YOU donated so our clients could be safe as their power returned. YOU served meals in our air conditioned dining centers and passed out fresh food and produce to those in need.
So, I just wanted to say THANKS and GREAT JOB!!! You were there when we needed you!
This difficult period also reminded me of what Catherine Nelson Black, LifeCare Alliance’s founder, noted as our mission when she began LifeCare Alliance in 1898 - to take care of those nobody else pays any attention to. Those of you familiar with our history know that our early efforts involved disaster relief following the floods of the early 1900s and preventing medical disasters for infants and children in need through our Columbus Baby Camp. It is clear to me that we are all still serving the same mission, providing the most basic of services to our clients. And, even relief after disasters like Central Ohio floods have been replaced by high winds.
LifeCare Alliance…We Nourish the Human Spirit! We provide Basic Human Needs through Basic Human Services with Basic Human Caring. Every day.
LifeCare Alliance has a dramatic and positive community impact EVERY DAY. Our people and programs substantially improve and change lives EVERY DAY. This is our responsibility. This is what we do.
In addition to our work in the summer heat, you may have noticed the article in The Columbus Dispatch and other media, which noted that recent census data indicates that Franklin County has the highest percentage of seniors living at home of any county in the state. And, the number improved by 36 percent since 2000! No statistic could better validate our work.
LifeCare Alliance operates nationally recognized models for our programs, volunteering, and the services we provide our clients. We are one of only a handful of major metropolitan areas in the country still taking clients in need without waiting lists. In 2012, this is truly our most amazing and most important statistic. The services you will read about in this report are exceptional and truly not the norm in other areas.
Throughout the United States, agencies providing services like ours are struggling. Many have even discontinued their work. Knowing that the population of our clients will continue to dramatically increase over the next decade, how can we position LifeCare Alliance to take care of them? The answer is our newly established agency goal -- to increase revenues from our fundraising and social entrepreneurship efforts to equal 50 percent of our total agency revenues by the end of 2014. Given this number was close to zero in 2000, this is truly a lofty goal, but one we must achieve for our clients. We ended 2011 with revenues from these sources totaling 33.6 percent of our total revenues. Had this total been lower, we simply could not have serviced all our clients and we would have the massive waiting lists that exist in other metropolitan areas across the country.
Your support of LifeCare Alliance is truly an investment in our community. AARP calculates that LifeCare Alliance saves Ohio taxpayers more than $62,000 per year for each senior or medically challenged person we assist in remaining independent and in their own home, which is where they want to be! This clearly makes LifeCare Alliance the best value for your dollar.
All of this is accomplished EVERY DAY through the efforts of our dedicated volunteers, staff and management team, board members, supporters, and especially YOU. However, we need your support now more than ever. I hope you will consider a special gift this year - an extra gift - to assist us in meeting our challenges.
In addition, you can help us in a number of ways:
-Volunteer and get involved. When you deliver Meals-on-Wheels or one of our other critical services, you save us the cost of performing this service. We simply could not deliver our services without you.
-Supply our food pantries. When you provide food or personal care items to our food pantries you reduce our costs and support a family or individual in critical need, often keeping them out of homeless shelters.
-Get your company involved. Currently, more than 90 companies deliver Meals-on-Wheels through our Adopt-A-Route program. There is no better way to increase employee morale at no cost to your company.
-Buy a catering. Our L.A. Catering company provides critical funding for clients we could not otherwise service. From graduation parties to wedding receptions to company events, we are your source for the best in catering.
-Have LifeCare Alliance provide your corporate wellness programs, flu shots, travel vaccines, and safety trainings.
-Donate your gently used clothes and household items to our three supporting thrift stores in Grove City, Worthington, and Reynoldsburg.
-Take a tour and learn about the work of The Columbus Cancer Clinic, Project OpenHand, IMPACT Safety, AniMeals Pet Care Program, Groceries-To-Go Food Pantry, Fan Campaign, and our many other incredible programs and services.
-Donate. We still need funds!
-Care. Serve. When you support LifeCare Alliance, you truly assist those most in need in our community.
I am proud EVERY DAY that LifeCare Alliance is in the homes and neighborhoods of our local communities doing what we do best -- Nourishing the Human Spirit -- and substantially improving and changing lives. As a supporter of LifeCare Alliance, you truly help to, “take care of those nobody else pays any attention to.”