Message from Shelley Rivard, CEO

COVID-19, coronavirus, social distancing, self-isolation, wash your hands … words and phrases that are ringing daily in our ears.  Just like a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, these words have changed our world as we knew it.

Shelley Rivard, CEO

The last number of weeks have been extremely difficult as we grapple with the short and long term effects that COVID-19 is having and will have on each and everyone of you, and, on us as an organization. These unprecedented times have led us to make some difficult decisions including cancelling our April Living Well conferences, two of our major fundraisers, all in person meetings in order to follow health regulations, and most importantly, to keep all of you safe.  These times have challenged us on how we can remain supportive through a virtual world.

The most difficult decision came 2 weeks ago, to reduce our staff team through temporary layoffs. After an in-depth look at our budget and reducing expenses to bare bones, it was apparent that this next step was inevitable.

Over the last month, we have encouraged all of you to be “Unstoppable”.  At this time, we remind ourselves about the importance of us, remaining “Unstoppable” for all of you.  We have shared video stories during the month of April that demonstrated the grit and determination this community has. They have been a beacon of hope in a world that is changing at every turn.  Now, it’s our turn, to show you perseverance as we work to provide the programs and services you need to get you through this time of isolation and the feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness that it brings.

In the days ahead, you will start to see the plans that we’ve put in place to support you, start to take shape. Things may not look like they once used to, but rest assured, we are here for you and will support you anyway we can. All of our decisions, all of our plans, all of the work we do day in and day out is shaped by you and for you. We may not be perfect, it may take some adjustment from all of us – but we know that we have the BEST community of people around us and that together, we’ll make it through this.

We want to hear from you. Please take a moment to click here and complete this short survey to let us know how we can best support you in the days ahead.

We are grateful for the gifts of time, talent and treasure that each of you so generously offer. Please, don’t stop. Don’t stop ensuring that your family member, living with Parkinson’s has access to share and connect with others experiencing similar situations through support groups. Don’t stop ensuring that carepartners can call us to turn for help. Don’t stop ensuring that someone, newly diagnosed and lost in the initial shock of a diagnosis, has a place to turn for hope. You make this work possible. You ensure support. Don’t stop volunteering your time, don’t stop sharing your skills and don’t stop giving. You make a Home for people living with Parkinson’s in our community.  To find out more about how we’re here for you and to donate click here.

We don’t know how long we will be in the current situation, but the one thing I can promise is that we are in this together and Hope is Close to Home!