SCOTTSDALE, AZ – (July 20, 2020) The Phoenix Holocaust Association (PHA) presented $60 Albertsons/Safeway gift cards to nearly 300 caregivers employed at four senior residential communities throughout the Valley. In little more than one month, PHA raised $17,000 in order to honor unsung heroes: caregivers who are essential workers on the frontlines of COVID-19 in assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing facilities. Funds were raised via an online GoFundMe campaign, a generous grant from retailer Albertsons/Safeway, and earmarked donations made directly to PHA.
PHA undertook this initiative because of the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on both older adults in senior facilities and those who care for them in the most hands-on manner. Older adults are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and, worldwide, residents of senior facilities constitute the greatest concentrations of coronavirus fatalities. Caregivers assist them with activities of daily living and, with a national average hourly wage of $12, they often work multiple jobs at different communities just to make ends meet. This increases their and their families’ exposure to the coronavirus.
“Our goal with this initiative,” said Janice Friebaum, vice president of Phoenix Holocaust Association, “is to go a step further than showing gratitude with something symbolic. Given the wages caregivers earn, we are providing grocery store gift cards which we hope will make a difference for people who are playing a critical role in keeping our loved ones safe.”
The senior communities that received the gift cards included The Palazzo in Phoenix, Belmont Village Scottsdale, Kivel Campus of Care in Phoenix, and Friendship Village Tempe.
“Our caregivers are an integral part of the team that makes the Palazzo a wonderful and safe place for our residents, and we value their dedication and sacrifices perhaps now more than ever. We’re humbled and grateful for the efforts of the Phoenix Holocaust Association and for the generosity of everyone who has stepped up to help some of the hardest working people we know,” said Mark Aronauer, Director of Sales & Marketing for The Palazzo.
“We’re incredibly honored and thankful to PHA for this show of gratitude,” said Cole Marvin, executive director at Friendship Village Tempe. “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.”
“The outpouring of appreciation for our caregivers, as shown by the contributions made to this fund, is overwhelming,” remarked Brian Dell’Ergo, executive director of Belmont Village Scottsdale. “We are thankful PHA thought to recognize the selfless work of caregivers, particularly during these trying times.”
Ira Shulman, president/CEO of Kivel Campus of Care, noted, ”Our staff have been extraordinary during this very complicated and trying time. Their dedication has provided a safe and healthy environment for the care of our residents.” Regarding the gift cards from PHA, Shulman added “They are a wonderful sign of appreciation for the work that is being done and will put smiles on the faces of our caregivers.”
Local organizations and faith congregations that assisted with promoting PHA’s caregiver appreciation campaign include: Arizona Faith Network, Arizona Interfaith Movement, Arizona Jewish Historical Society, Beth Ami Temple, Bureau of Jewish Education, Congregation Beth Israel, Congregation Beth Tefillah, Congregation Kehillah, Congregation Nefesh Soul, Congregation Ruach Hamidbar – Spirit of the Desert, Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival, Jewish Community Foundation, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix, Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, NowGen Phoenix, OR ADAM Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, Temple Emanuel, Temple Kol Ami, and Temple Solel.
The Phoenix Holocaust Association was incorporated in 1985 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. PHA is a partnership of Holocaust survivors, their descendants and the larger community, whose mission is to honor the memory and legacy of the survivors and victims, promote awareness of the Holocaust, provide education of this and other genocides, and contribute to tikkun olam, repair of the world. www.phxha.com