Caregivers at Belmont Village Scottsdale were surprised recently with grocery store gift cards presented by the Phoenix Holocaust Association.
Belmont Village Scottsdale employees were among nearly 300 caregivers in four senior residential communities who received $60 Albertson’s-Safeway gift cards.
“The outpouring of appreciation for our caregivers, as shown by the contributions made to this fund, is overwhelming,” said Brian Dell’Ergo, executive director of Belmont Village Scottsdale.
PHA raised $17,000 in a little more than one month for the caregivers.
Funds were raised via GoFundMe campaign that raised $15,000 as well as a $5,000 grant from Albertson’s-Safeway and other donations.
“Our goal with this initiative is to go a step further than showing gratitude with something symbolic,” said PHA Vice President Janice Friebaum.
PHA pursued the initiative in response to the COVID-19 crisis’ disproportionate impact on senior facility residents and those who care for them.
Published reports say more than 40 percent of U.S. coronavirus deaths are linked to nursing homes and other facilities for older adults.
At senior residential communities, Certified Nursing Assistants and other designated caregivers assist the elderly with bathing and bathroom functions, dressing, eating, mobility and taking medications.
These caregivers make a national average hourly wage of $12, and they often work multiple jobs at different communities just to make ends meet, in the end increasing their and their families’ exposure to COVID-19.
“Given the wages caregivers earn, we are providing grocery store gift cards we hope will make a difference for people who are playing a critical role in keeping our loved ones safe,” Friebaum said.
The other three senior communities that received gift cards are the Palazzo in Phoenix, Kivel Campus of Care in Phoenix, and Friendship Village Tempe.
Mark Aronauer, director of sales and marketing for the Palazzo, called their caregivers an “integral part of the team” and that they’re “humbled and grateful” for the donation.
“We value their dedication and sacrifices perhaps now more than ever,” Aronauer said.
“Our team members are going above and beyond to keep residents healthy, safe and in good spirits during this challenging time. It’s impossible to put a value on how much we appreciate their efforts, but these gifts are certainly well deserved,” said Cole Marvin, executive director at Friendship Village Tempe.
Ira Shulman, president and CEO of Kivel Campus of Care, said PHA’s gift is a “wonderful sign of appreciation for the work that is being done and will put smiles on the faces of our caregivers.”
PHA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor the memory and legacy of Holocaust survivors and victim, while also promoting awareness of the Holocaust and providing education of it and other genocides.