Fundraiser for aging services starts today – The Gazette

Give65 donations will help fund AbbeHealth Aging Services after pandemic adaptations

Fundraiser for aging services starts today
Fundraiser for aging services starts today

Staff member Brenda Anderson assists a participant in arts and crafts at Cedar Rapids Milestones Adult Day Center. (Courtesy of AbbeHealth Aging Services)

Participants at Pathways Adult Day Center in Iowa City enjoy a parachute balloon game. (Courtesy of AbbeHealth Aging Services)

CEDAR RAPIDS — When the pandemic hit, adult day centers were dramatically impacted, said Lindsay Glynn, executive director of UnityPoint Health’s AbbeHealth Aging Services.

In response, AbbeHealth adapted its programming to keep adults safe through home services and social through technology and virtual programming.

Starting 8 a.m. today, the public can help them maintain their mission by supporting the nonprofit through the sixth annual Give65, a 65-hour giving event with Home Instead Charities for charitable organizations that serve aging adults.

Want to help?

Who: UnityPoint Health’s AbbeHealth Aging Services

What: Home Instead Charities’ sixth annual Give65 event

When: 8 a.m. today until 1 a.m. Friday

Where: give65.com/abbehealth

Details: To support AbbeHealth as it maintains pandemic adaptations that keep aging adults healthy physically, mentally and socially, donors can contribute as little as $10 online. AbbeHealth’s fundraising goal is $15,000. The organization is competing for $5,000 in matching funds and $10,000, which they will win if they receive the highest number of unique donors among competing charities that serve aging adults.

All donations are tax deductible.

“We don’t have as many people in centers at a time as we used to. That’s why Give65 is paramount, because it impacts our bottom line and we want to make sure we’re keeping people safe while giving them the services they need,” she said. Since resuming in-person service after a mandatory state closure last year, the organization has maintained COVID-19 safety protocols, including social distancing.

From 8 a.m. today until 1 a.m. Friday, AbbeHealth Aging Services hopes to raise $15,000. During the event, AbbeHealth will compete for up to $5,000 in matching funds from Home Instead Charities. Additionally, they will win $10,000 from the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation if they garner the highest number of unique donors during the event.

The fundraiser could bring a much-needed infusion into the organization from outside Linn and Johnson counties. Donors can contribute as little as $10 to be counted as a unique donor. All donations are tax deductible.

“COVID-19 has really highlighted the challenges aging adults face every day,” said Lenli Corbett, executive director of Home Instead Charities. “Supporting aging adults and providing them the tools to define their own aging journey is always important, but particularly during a global pandemic.”

During the pandemic, AbbeHealth worked to provide clients with at-home care to be healthy and safe physically, mentally and socially.

“It became dangerous or unsafe for people to be in groups,” Glynn said. “Addressing socialization, we did a lot of virtual programming and activities.”

A pen pal program has connected clients with college students they can also visit with virtually, and the organization worked to purchase technology and train clients how to use it — something that became much more necessary with social distancing and isolation.

“If they needed access to technology, we were able to get them access to that,” Glynn said. “We had to invest in a lot of technology on our end to make that possible.”

And even now, after many have eagerly returned to in-person care and programming, AbbeHealth has maintained the virtual programming for those still not comfortable with returning. Virtual services are not reimbursed by AbbeHealth’s revenue sources.

“We’re doing that because that’s what people need and want,” Glynn said. “We’re a mission-based nonprofit organization. We’ll do what it takes, even when it’s difficult.”

Comments: (319) 398-8340; elijah.decious@thegazette.com

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