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Message from Amy Mansue
President and CEO, Inspira Health
With November in full swing, and the holiday on the horizon, we are reminded that the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, this year December 1, has traditionally been set as the National Day of Giving. Except, this year has been like no other.
Despite the magnitude of this health pandemic that has been battled over the past nine months, it has subsequently transformed into a generosity movement, inspiring people around the nation to give, collaborate and celebrate the sung and unsung heroes on the frontline every day. It has also shone a light on how critically important philanthropic contributions are and how they enrich our community.
Annually more than $449 billion is donated to 1.5 million non-profits in the US. This includes more than $41 billion to health organizations. We need philanthropy in our world, our community, and our health care system. As a not-for-profit health care organization, Inspira relies on philanthropic support from our Foundation to raise money and awareness in support of its programs and services.
Inspira Health Foundation partners with individuals, local businesses, and community organizations in order to provide the best possible support, education, and health care for our community members. The Foundation makes a positive impact on the health and well-being of community members by developing philanthropic opportunities that fund patient programs and services, advance cutting-edge technology, and support facility enhancements.
The Foundation also played a critical role in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic when it made a $1 million donation to the Inspira COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. The donation gave Inspira Health the ability to respond rapidly during the evolving new coronavirus pandemic. The funds helped to support the costs of increasing bed capacity, buying Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), helping employees who face financial hardships and completing infrastructure projects to accommodate the potential surge of patients.
The Foundation also stepped up to manage our community’s generous response to our Blue Hearts for Heroes by accepting donations of 16,600 meals for staff, much needed PPE in those early days and other medical supplies.
“At Inspira, we have had a longstanding commitment of taking care of the community in our community; the pandemic just temporarily changed the way we did that,” said Gary Galloway, chair of the Foundation Board of Directors. “Our board members are active members of the community and bring that engaged perspective to every Foundation initiative we undertake. I am proud to chair this dedicated group of volunteers.”
Since 2017, more than $24.6 million has been contributed to the Foundation. This funding has helped Inspira establish community programs aimed at addressing various social determinants of health, including obesity, food insecurity, substance abuse, access to care, and mental health.
Through our partnering with local food banks in Gloucester and Cumberland counties, Inspira has been able to provide almost 5,000 families, including their children, healthy food, nutritional tips and exercise – and that’s only since June 2019. One of our food pantries is held at the Child Family Center in Millville.
“Inspira has been instrumental in enabling us to have a food pantry at the Child Family Center. The partnership with Inspira has been amazing and so rewarding to our families. It started with 10 families and has now grown to, at times 300 families, “shared JoAnn Deckert Burns, the principal at the school.
“Inspira has enabled us to partner with the Greater Community Food Bank and have also provided funding for each food bank. Inspira employees have helped us distribute the food and brought additional donations to the pantry. We started with about 125 families and are currently hovering around the 300 mark.”
For October, Burns noted that 287 families benefited from the food bank. She and her staff deliver to some of the families who are unable to get to the pantry. She emphasizes that the families are very appreciative and thankful for all of the food.
“One lady who came through the line said ‘I never thought at the age of 82 I would be in a food distribution line. My grandson moved in with his family and they eat quite a bit. I have no pension, only my Social Security.’ There are many stories such as this one.”
While the school staff makes generous donations, Burns acknowledges that it wouldn’t be possible without the generosity from Inspira.
So this November, please keep giving, collaborating and celebrating. Whether that’s continuing to join us in hanging a blue heart in your window to thank our heroes, or through generous donations that have played a critical role in ensuring that families no longer have worry about how to afford their next meal or support their children.
It is a privilege and an honor to serve you and the South Jersey community. Until we may have the chance to meet, stay safe and be well.
To make a gift in support of Inspira Health, please visit https://www.inspirafoundation.org/.