I am writing this letter the day after our September Festival and I feel overwhelmed with God’s goodness to us and God’s love for us through His people, our staff and friends.
If you ever want to experience "love in action," come to Misericordia any day of the year but especially the day of the Family Festival (always the Sunday after Labor Day) and the days before and after the Festival. There is no human explanation for what happens here!
A thousand volunteers give of themselves so generously. Friends from varied walks of life are here to prepare for and welcome 15,000 people to celebrate life at every level of being. Can anyone doubt that there is more love in our world because there is a home comprised of believers called Misericordia!
Even Mayor Emanuel came to Fest to check on our water supply!! I’m pleased to share that he truly appreciates having Misericordia in Chicago, and is a good friend along with many of our other political friends. Yes, we still pay our water bill!
And now, we are on to several important fundraisers such as our Woman’s Golf Outing, our Women’s Board Ball, and our many Christmas Brunches and gatherings, along with several fundraisers planned by friends. Yes, we surely are blessed! The only reason we can have the beautiful homes, almost 1,000 staff, and many life-giving programs is because we are successful raising private dollars. If we had to depend solely on government funding, the above would not be a reality.
A major endeavor which will be presented to our friends in the late fall is our campaign to provide our aging population with more family-like residential homes. We now have 16 residents older than 60 years of age and 68 older than 50. This is a new phenomenon— aging persons with developmental disabilities—for in the past, because of the lack of appropriate services, these most loving citizens were not regarded as persons worthy to be served by professionals. Thus, few reached adulthood. Thanks be to God, this is no longer true!
In our next newsletter, we will share with you our plans for these homes. In this time of so much uncertainty about government funding for human services, are we foolish to be moving ahead to assist more people in need? I am convinced we are doing God’s work. Our friends know we are always aware of the thousands of vulnerable people in Illinois needing good residential care but there is no room. Aging parents who have kept their most vulnerable "child" with them and now they are afraid to die. They worry who will be there when they no longer can be the primary caregivers. Is this not an indictment of our affluent society that families have to live with such fear! Being caregivers is the gift that Misericordia gives to our families.
This gives us the courage and confidence to move ahead. And yes, I realize time is going quickly, but without any hesitation I can say I am surrounded with the best staff and volunteers, inside and outside the walls of Misericordia. Our future is secured, but never may we take it for granted. We must continue to work as generously as we do now in order that our children and adults of tomorrow will continue to enjoy lives of dignity, beauty, challenge, and compassion. Our residents deserve the best and the entire Misericordia Family is determined this will be so. God’s love will keep us on the path of mercy and justice for all involved!
Thank you for believing in us. May your Christmas be a blessed one filled with God’s good gifts for you and yours, dear friends.