From Arnie Preminger
President & CEO
As our day to day reality continues to shift and feelings of uncertainty surround us, there are those things – precious, priceless things, like the love we have for our families and the deep friendships we share with others – that do not change. If anything, they grow stronger in times like these.
Sunrise is one of those things.
As I said to you in my message last week, what Sunrise was to its families last week it will continue to be in the weeks and months ahead, no matter the circumstance. To make good on that promise, we are rapidly adapting to each new circumstance so as to better assist our families, as well as support our hospital partners and care for our staff. So for today, this is what I would like you to know:
Sunrise on Screens – Over the past several days, all of our Sunrise on Wheels programs inside the 21 hospitals we serve have been put on hiatus. In addition, all schools in the areas surrounding our 8 camps have been closed, leaving many of our children shut in behind closed doors.
To assure that Sunrise continues to provide respite and delight, we have created a new video-based initiative that will bring the joys of both camp and Sunrise on Wheels right into our campers’ homes and hospital rooms. Filled with games, contests, sing-alongs, exercises and special activities, this innovative site will feature new content twice a week, with appearances from many of the staff that our campers have come to know and love . . . and maybe a special guest or two as well. You can find us on YouTube beginning on Friday afternoon, March 20th, at Sunrise On Screens.
Support from Sunrise – What we are feeling as a nation today – the isolation, the uncertainty, the fear of contagion – is reminiscent of what too many of our Sunrise families experience every day. To make sure they have the tools to also navigate these changes, the Sunrise Association is creating an in-depth Information and Referral Service, to be known as Support from Sunrise.
In each community that Sunrise serves, our staff will be equipped to make referrals to a wide range of organizations and/or individuals able to deal with myriad issues, from employment to health questions to basic needs and more. Further, over the course of the next two weeks, we will be in contact with every Sunrise family who has attended one of our camps during the past two years to check in, provide referrals as needed, and even help with camp registration.
Which brings us to the question of Summer Camp. It remains our expectation, sprinkled with a little bit of hope and faith, that all of our existing camps will run this summer. Exactly when they will start or how long they will go for, we don’t know yet, but in one form or another, our campers are going to have camp. So please keep on registering and keep on watching for updates.
And finally, to our family of supporters . . .
Through 15 summers and thousands of smiles, you have made sure that Sunrise could deliver its mission of caring and love. Today, in this unprecedented moment, we need you more than ever. Every large-scale event that was scheduled during the next three months has now been postponed into the fall, leaving us without the reserves we would usually have at this time. We have likewise pulled back on every new initiative so as to conserve our resources and focus on the immediate needs of our families. But to do this, we need the support of our community of friends. Sunrise can and will continue to be a powerfully responsive organization, but only if you continue to stand with us.
We need you today, because they will still need us tomorrow.
In the next week or so, Sunrise will be rolling out a special fundraising campaign to assure that – when all of this is behind us – we are still a strong, vibrant organization able to immediately resume our camps and in-hospital programs, while also expanding our services as needed to deal with the aftermath of this crisis. Please watch for it. In the meanwhile, you can donate by going to our website – www.sunriseassociation.org and pushing the Donate button, or by contacting Beth Fetner, our Senior Vice President of Agency Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With thanks and gratitude,