A Message from Bonnie Brae CEO, Paul Rieger: Covid 19 Update
I know many of you are facing your own crises as the depth and reach of this pandemic continues to grow. None of us are immune to its impact. Despite your own challenges, your kindness humbles me and I want to thank you for supporting Bonnie Brae as we continuously deliver our mission to New Jersey’s most vulnerable youth.
Feeding, housing, educating and treating 100 youth during a pandemic is not without challenges, especially in a climate in which our staff are facing their own personal challenges and fears: some have lost their childcare; some have had spouses lose a job; and some have lost family and friends to the virus. Their struggles are real yet they continue to rise up and be heroes for the youth.
Many of you have helped by providing much needed supplies and donations—thank you. Your financial donations are helping to offset costs of purchasing much needed emergency supplies, and your in-kind donations have brought many smiles. We distributed baskets of snacks and coffee to different departments and set up a ‘shop’ of donated games and activities which our clinicians have been frequenting to provide new and fun activities for the youth.
We are now about 5 weeks into the crisis, and while we all hope that the end is near, we know that we have several more weeks to go. Our need for supplies and financial resources will continue. If you would still like to help, below is a menu of opportunities for your consideration, including our on-going need for personal protective gear.
Despite the many and myriad challenges, our youth are continuing to grow and progress. We have invested in technology and youth in our community homes are continuing their education through e-learning. Technology is also helping youth to virtually visit with their families on a regular basis, to have required therapy and medical sessions, and to have regular meetings with their treatment teams. Our IIC Clinicians, who previously provided behavioral health therapy in client's homes are now delivering these much needed services virtually through tele-therapy.
Our staff are also thinking creatively to incorporate "fun" activities. There was a "socially distant" egg hunt on Easter Sunday, and there have been myriad board and card game competitions and movie nights. Staff even taught youth how to make their own fabric masks out of bandanas.
Thank you for your support of Bonnie Brae and your partnership in helping us to navigate this crisis. We will all get through this together.
I wish you continued strength and good health.
Paul D. Rieger, MSW, Chief Executive Officer
Ways you Can Help Bonnie Brae:
Donate Supplies: Bonnie Brae is first and foremost, a health care facility dedicated to the mental, emotional and behavioral health of youth. As such, we are in need of the following items to help us care and provide for our youth and staff:3 Ply Filter Masks, N95 Masks, Gowns, Gloves, Thermometers, Thermometer Probe Covers, Hand Sanitizer.
If you have supplies to donate, please contact Maureen Hunt (908-647-4700) in the Development Office and she can work with you and arrange for drop-off or pick up.
Make a Financial Donation: The current health crisis is placing an unprecedented strain on our budget as we strive to ensure we have the staff and supplies we need to continue to provide treatment, care and education to our youth. Please consider making a financial contribution and note that the recently passed stimulus package allows for an above the line charitable tax deduction. Beginning with 2020 tax returns, taxpayers will be able to claim up to $300 in cash contributions to charity as a deduction without itemizing. Thank you for supporting our very own Bonnie Brae heroes who help and serve our youth day in and day out. Donate NowShare Your Support and Keep Us in Your Thoughts:
Let our boys and staff know you are thinking about them by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will share your encouraging words with them.
Follow Suggested Protocols to Keep Your Family Safe and Healthy: Staying home and practicing social distancing is the best way to slow the spread of this virus and keep our families and communities safer and healthier.