Message to Our Volunteers

Recently, Doctors Care held a call with all volunteers, currently adhering to the shelter at home policy, to touch base and connect.  The purpose of the call was to report on the status of Doctors Care and convey how the organization was navigating the COVID-19 crisis. The call brought joy to staff who participated, and the volunteers who were eager to express how much they missed being at Doctors Care.  Following are some words shared during the call, prepared by CEO Bebe Kleinman.

A Message to Doctors Care’s Volunteer Force

From the very first days of our existence in 1988, Doctors Care has depended on volunteers to strengthen the organization.  Please know this is just a short interruption, and we will need each one of you in the near future to keep Doctors Care strong, vibrant and viable.  We entered the pandemic in good shape, financially and programmatically, thank goodness.  The staffing model, programs, and community support of our mission are solid, though the importance of this was unforeseen in the wake of COVID-19.  That solid foundation has helped us adapt to a new environment.

In a matter of a few weeks, I am amazed at how quickly we have adapted services and medical care.  During this very short period we have created a virtual environment, made sure staff can work remotely, and that care can be provided safely and appropriately.  I have been incredibly impressed with the flexibility and courage exhibited by everyone. Our goal as an organization is two-fold; ensure the safety of our patients and staff, and keep Doctors Care running and ready to respond to whatever lies ahead.

I am experiencing an unexpected feeling of grief, which is strange and unusual for me.  The world has changed.  There is a sense of loss.  I often feel I am not helping enough, that some must carry or shoulder a heavier load.  Our healthcare workers are placing themselves in greater danger because of their expertise.  There is a loss of normalcy, a loss of connection.  There is a collective sadness in the air because we do not know what to anticipate next.  Has the storm come, or are we still waiting for it?

I ask myself each day what I can do to manage this sense of grief.  I can acknowledge it, talk about it, accept it, and stay connected.  I can wash my hands, practice social distancing, and find comfort in the virtual world we now live in.  Perhaps most important,  I can live in today and try not to worry so much about the future.  Very hard for someone like me.  I know we are in a temporary state – time to overprotect but not overreact.

I look forward to the time we can gather together again, but until then, let’s stay connected, and remember that we are all a part of something wonderful.  You bring us joy.