Remember 2020, Celebrate 2021!
Chris DiMaso | December 26, 2020
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
It might be hard to believe, but 2020 is coming to an end. In a year like this, every day felt like a week. It seems like ages ago when the pandemic began. Back in March, we had no idea how long the road would be, nor how hard. In the face of adversity, the Villa St. Francis team learned a lot about who we are at our core. We are more committed than we know, we are stronger than we look, and we are braver than we believe. It is the men and women that serve our residents every day that deserve all the credit.
What Commitment Looks Like
Because of Covid, we have been short-staffed most of 2020. This meant more than just picking up an extra shift here or there. Our team routinely works overtime and covers open shifts. It was never mandatory, yet they served. Not wanting the quality of service to diminish, everyone steps up. Working weekends, switching departments, and even missing time with family. We knew Villa St. Francis staff was committed to providing excellent care, but we could not have known the magnitude until this year.
Strength Is More Than Muscles
When it comes to brute strength, our maintenance team can move mountains. But the strength we saw this year came from the smallest of people. It took everything in us to watch beloved residents lose their battle with Covid. Tears were shed more than once as our best efforts were not enough to stop the invisible threat. But every time we suffered a loss, we found the strength to get up. This year the tiniest CNAs and nurses carried the heaviest of burdens.
Bravery Comes With Fear
When the staff of Villa St. Francis comes to work, they are met with a reminder of the danger they face. Temperature checks, smell tests, and affidavits of health. Only entering the facility after donning an N95 mask and sanitizing their hands. All of this whether they have direct contact with residents or not. For those that serve on the frontlines of Covid, it means head-to-toe PPE every time they enter a room. Finding the bravery every day means staring down the fear of catching the virus. And still they do.
As 2020 comes to an end we are remembering everything we learned. But even more so, we are preparing to celebrate in 2021. We want to show our amazing staff how much we appreciate their commitment, strength, and bravery. We want to provide snacks and treats frequently. Give them appreciation gifts like Villa St. Francis branded goods. And put-on special events and parties to help everyone relax and have fun. Will you join us in appreciating our team by making your year-end, tax-deductible donation today?
What Is Your Dollar Actually Worth?
Chris DiMaso | November 17, 2020
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
They say a dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to, but what is your dollar actually worth? A dollar in 1945, the year Villa St. Francis was founded, would be worth $14.44 today. Every year we see prices go up, and we get less for it. It can be downright thrilling when we find a great deal.
In the Kansas City metro, you can find a candy bar for about a dollar. But do you want a candy bar? Your dollar is subject to a concept called “perceived value.” This is the price you are willing to pay for something. When you want something you might be willing to pay more. When you see an item for less than you would pay, your desire for the item might increase. What is your dollar actually worth? That is up to you.
Your Gift is Matched
This Christmas Villa St. Francis is attempting to raise $20,000. This will fund an entire year of enjoyable activities for our community. We strive to promote and maintain our residents’ highest functional abilities by providing a variety of engaging opportunities. We understand how important meaningful activities are to their emotional wellbeing. When you make a donation to Villa St. Francis you are providing a better quality of life for our residents.
Your dollar is actually worth two dollars.
Your dollar is actually worth two dollars. That is because every dollar up to $10,000 will be matched!!! The math is simple, $100 becomes $200. The perceived value of your donation gets doubled. Will you make a generous donation to help us reach our goal? Your gift will go to work immediately in the lives of our residents. You will be filled with joy knowing you have blessed someone, and it will help you have Your Best Christmas.
From everyone at Villa St. Francis, thank you.
Your Best Christmas: 3 Ways To Make Sure It Is
Chris DiMaso | November 17, 2020
“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Having your best Christmas isn’t something that occurs by chance. Like a series of Norman Rockwell paintings, it is a culmination of several factors all coming together to bring about a sense of joy and optimism. In Kansas City, you never know if we will have a white Christmas. During a pandemic, you can’t make plans too far in advance. It is difficult to know when you will begin to feel the spirit. Yet, there are things you can do to make sure when it happens, you are ready. Here are three things you can do to make sure you are having your best Christmas.
Supporting a charity.
They say money can’t buy you happiness, but that is not what a study from Harvard found. “The findings showed that those who reported spending more on others, what the team called “prosocial” spending, also reported a greater level of happiness, while how much they spent on themselves had no impact on happiness.”1 We all know this deep down, but sometimes it is easier to focus on our material wants.
If you want to have your best Christmas, support Villa St. Francis’ #GivingTuesday campaign. It is simple to be a part of it and you will feel great knowing you helped.
Mark the date. Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Share and help promote our campaign on social media.
Make a generous donation.
Ask someone else to make a donation.
The campaign launches today! You can visit our Facebook page right now and share our campaign. You can also make your gift right now by visiting our donation page.
Spending time with family and friends.
We all know how difficult 2020 has been with limitations on seeing family and friends. We miss our loved ones, and Christmas won’t be the same without them. If we have gained anything from this isolation experience, it is appreciating the little things. Whether you can’t see your family because they are across the country or because of safety, stay in touch.
Using technology might not give you the same warm feeling as their loving embrace, but make the video chat anyway. Seeing and hearing our loved ones can bring about the same sense of Christmas joy that we desperately need. Zoom recently announced that they will be lifting the 40-minute limit for all meetings globally from midnight ET on Nov. 26 through 6 a.m. ET on Nov. 27. This will allow people to safely interact on Thanksgiving.
Enjoying the sights and sounds.
You likely have a memory of a favorite Christmas or two. If you close your eyes you can still picture the lights on the tree, Perry Como singing in the background, the smell of something sweet in the oven. The ways we celebrate haven’t changed this year. Decorating your tree is a great family activity. Take a drive to see house lights and listening to Christmas music. Bake a cherished family recipe or learn a new one and begin a new tradition. One of the most joyous sights and sounds is celebrating Mass. Even though we all can’t meet together, we are still having Mass every day. You can read more about how we are, here.
You can have your best Christmas even in 2020. You only need to make the decision to do so.
From all of us at Villa St. Francis, we wish you an early Merry Christmas!
1Colleen Walsh (2008, April 17) Money spent on others can buy happiness. The Harvard Gazette. Retrieved from https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2008/04/money-spent-on-others-can-buy-happiness/
Visitation & Gifts
Chris DiMaso | August 26, 2020
“But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13
We know that the pandemic has been hard on you and our residents. Our once bustling hallways are now quiet. We miss seeing your faces and sharing in your lives. We hope that you and your families are well, and we solicit your prayers for Villa St. Francis and its residents. While we anxiously await to reopen to visitors, we are aware that you want to communicate with your loved ones and give them gifts. We have put together some information to help you accomplish this, while keeping everyone safe.
As of August 26, 2020 there are no outside visitors allowed in Villa St. Francis.
Please contact Maureen Kelly (816.686.8951; MKelly@VillaSF.org) to arrange window visits
Please contact Verna Jones (913.747.0273; VJones@VillaSF.org) or Priscilla Salinas (PSalinas@VillaSF.org) for virtual visits.
Gifts for residents will be handled in the following manner.
Soft and porous materials (i.e. pillows) will be held for 72 hours.
Hard materials (i.e. picture frames) will be wiped down and given directly to the residents by staff.
Clothing will be brought immediately to laundry, washed, and labeled. Then the resident may receive them.
Gifts of food for residents.
We cannot accept homemade or repackaged food at this time.
Food must come in the original, sealed commercial packaging.
Food deliveries can be made to the front door, please leave on the bench and call the receptionist. (913.829.5201)
Make sure your loved one’s name is clearly written.
Deliveries can be made Monday-Friday 8am-5pm and Saturday-Sunday 10am-3pm. Special arrangements can be made ahead of time with prior approval.
Thank you for your help in keeping our residents and staff safe.
Technology And Faith
Chris DiMaso | July 29, 2020
“But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus.” Luke 5:19
Daily life is being affected by Covid in every way. Masks replaced smiles and staying at home replaced vacations. For the residents of Villa St. Francis, life looks much different too. Once the halls teamed with activity, now only nurses and CNAs travel the corridors. Shared meals and large group activities filled the dining hall, but now socially distant tables allow for staff breaks. The residents miss their friends and the fun activities they shared together. For the faithful, Covid has interrupted an important part of their life. With the restrictions on gatherings, Mass and Bible study have changed too.
In the New Testament, the Greek word ekklesia is used 115 times. Modern translations interpret this word as “church”, but the meaning is much more poignant. The literal definition is an assembly called-out from their homes to a meeting place. While “church” is a fine translation, it was never intended to mean the building. Ekklesia is about the fellowship of the people. For now, that needs to look different.
We celebrate Mass every day at Villa St. Francis! Residents aren’t allowed to join in person, but thanks to our television system, the worship service is available to everyone. We have two dedicated channels that are helping to bridge the gap during this difficult time. Channel 55 is a live feed from the chapel that allows Monsignor Burger to share the liturgy. A stationary camera captures the altar and pulpit. Audio is enabled which allows for residents to pray and sing as if they were in the chapel. Communion is delivered by nuns during the service to anyone requesting to receive the Eucharist.
As we at Villa St. Francis are responding to the changing dynamic of life in quarantine, we are also finding new ways to facilitate faith. A recent addition to our television system, channel 53, allows us to share YouTube videos with the residents. We aren’t sharing cat videos though, this channel is full of great content. One such example is Maureen Kelly’s Bible study. It wasn’t too long ago that residents would gather together to dive into God’s Word. As that isn’t possible right now, we are bringing it to them directly. For twenty minutes, Maureen shares the meaning of biblical stories and delivers sage application to resident’s lives. The video below is the first Bible study being shared with residents on the television.
Incorporating faith into daily life is one of the ways we are providing the best quality care to our residents.