Coronavirus: Responding in Unprecedented Times
A friend once told me that how a person responds to life’s first major crisis determines how that person will respond to all future crises.
We all have different ways we respond to crises and unsettling events in our lives. While some of us cocoon ourselves and hope it all goes away, others jump into the middle of the situation and occupy themselves by being busy.
But what happens in a crisis like this? Jumping into the middle is out of the question yet hiding from what’s happening isn’t a good choice either. We’ve been told to “practice social distancing,” but that doesn’t mean we all become hermits, either. We need social interaction, regardless of how far apart we are.
At Buckner International, we’ve been responding to the coronavirus in multiple ways, while maintaining the highest levels of safety protocols instituted by the government and health professionals. You can imagine how hard it is for a social service agency like Buckner to practice social distancing. Everything in our DNA tells us just the opposite.
As one of the largest providers of senior living in Texas, we have a unique responsibility to do everything reasonably possible to protect the residents living at our Buckner retirement communities. Our team is going above and beyond to care for the residents. The resilient spirit and response of residents and families is matched only by the commitment of our team to continue serving our seniors during this extraordinary time.
That spirit of service continues in our ministries to children and families. I announced March 18 that we will suspend onsite operations at our Buckner Family Hope Centers, however the ministry continues. Our staff is staying in contact with the families we serve through every possible means of communication, from phones to email. We continue serving families in Family Pathways and foster care.
This blog has served as a place of inspiration and information. Today, I want to use it to encourage your continued financial support of our children and families. While the world has seemingly ground to a halt, our ministry has not, nor have the needs of the ones we serve.
I’ve reminded our staff that we talk every day about serving the most vulnerable children and families. Right now, children and seniors are the most vulnerable.
Maybe you’re staying at home wondering what you can do. Here’s something. Make a gift right now to help us keep serving the vulnerable.
Right now, our nation and the world are gripped by a crisis that brings with it not only illness but anxiety and uncertainty. It also shines light on heroes willing to step up and help others. I want to express my gratitude to you for your heroic support of Buckner during this time.
Just as the situation globally continues to evolve, so our team is adapting plans and precautions on an hourly basis. Here is some of the most significant news as of today:
To date, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in any of our campuses or buildings – either in senior living or in children and family services.
As of last Friday, all of our senior living communities are closed to outside visitors and all staff are being screened when they come to work.
We are taking similar measures with our international programs to monitor outbreaks in their respective countries and to align with local government restrictions.
We have cancelled all international mission trips until June 1 and will re-evaluate the situation at that time.
We have established a blog site to provide current information about our responses. You can go to Buckner.org/coronavirus-blog for the most up to date information.
The Buckner Counseling Services program, under the director of Dr. Amy Curtis, is offering telehealth through a HIPAA-compliant platform called 8x8. All of Buckner’s counselors now have access to this platform and are working remotely to continue therapy sessions as scheduled and needed. Telehealth will help reduce our client’s anxiety about COVID-19 exposure while complying with social distancing. All clients should have access to the therapists’ cell phone numbers. They will be reachable during business hours via email or by cell phone.
We have postponed a number of fundraising events.
We continue monitoring the situation and adapting as needed. Our staff has done a tremendous job communicating both internally and externally with those we serve.
I pray the Lord keeps you and your family safe.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7