Wellness Wishes' 2019 Constitution
2018 was a blur, going by so quickly; and here we are into the second half of January 2019 already! My first full year as Wellness Wishes’ President and Director of Funding Advisors is behind me and looking to 2019 couldn’t be more exciting. This past year, we have experienced the same ups and downs as I’m sure any new, or newly positioned, organization does. This lack of uniqueness is not necessarily a comfort, but with the tireless help of a handful of trusted individuals, I couldn’t be more passionate and prouder to lead this non-profit into our next phase.
I thought it necessary to pen a constitution, of sorts, for the benefit of our team and our loyal followers (which is growing daily), and maybe most importantly, for myself. The core of our mission and values has stayed the same since we came onto the scene in 2011. But with 2019 has come a more defined sense of who exactly Wellness Wishes is and the groups we aim to help. This constitution will be used as the foundation of our work this year and beyond; maybe not necessarily so much how we operate, but why we do what we do…the passion behind what’s driving us to make a change.
Yesterday on Twitter (please follow us @WellnessWishes) I saw a tweet that inspired a little bit of change in what I do. The tweet was by a member of an organization that we follow and promote regularly. They do tireless work on behalf of animals across the globe. The tweet asked us to sign a petition asking for justice, although stating that they knew justice wasn’t going to happen. I promptly signed the petition, liked the tweet and retweeted with my own message. The author was correct…the petition wasn’t going to change anything on a grand scale, or probably even get justice for the poor animal in question. But starting the petition, signing the petition, tweeting, re-tweeting, liking, even thinking about it…all these things are small acts that are necessary to make big change, positive change. I told the author to not give up and to keep the fighting the good fight, and Wellness Wishes would commit to as well.
This is an important message. Many things (too many to mention here) inspired me to leave ‘corporate America’ and join the philanthropy movement; and it’s important for me to manage expectations. Hopefully everything we do at Wellness Wishes makes a significant, positive change. In reality, it’s hours, days, weeks, months of working uphill, against the grain, against the odds, against individuals that don’t see things in the same way, struggling to make those big changes that are made up of countless tiny ones. But we don’t give up. Because there are beings out there without a voice, or who have lost their voice, and that are counting on us…those that don’t give up. Our constitution is built on a strong foundation of four pillars, each made up of these beings. Below are groups that Wellness Wishes is vowing to help in 2019; and ones that we will never give up on.
UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS IN HEALTHCARE
No one knows better than I do how broad the term ‘healthcare’ is. What does it even mean these days? There can be countless definitions, and we don’t propose to contribute to any of them. What we do propose is to address areas within healthcare that might not get the full attention they deserve, or who don’t have sexy non-profit logos going to bat for them. Ones that need our full attention as a society.
· Rural Healthcare | Vulnerable, rural communities are struggling, and it is essential that we rebuild rural priorities.
· Health Districts | A vital community is dependent on the health of its population. Access to medical care does not guarantee good health; however, access to healthcare is critical for a population’s well-being and optimal health.
· Seniors | Our ‘Successful Senior Aging’ program ensures our community’s seniors age with the beauty and grace they deserve.
· Homebound Individuals | Being homebound doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to basic necessities, hot meals and essentials for the pets that love you unconditionally.
· Caregivers | Being a caregiver can be the most rewarding and the most challenging thing these selfless individuals will ever do. We help caregivers understand how to manage stress and optimize health, because our communities simply can’t do without them.
In talking with one of our EMS clients, they informed us that they applied for a grant for new oxygen tanks, as theirs were simply too unpredictable. Numerous agencies applied for the same grant. All, including our client, but one department was denied the funds. Wellness Wishes believes that equipping our communities first responders with everything they need to keep themselves and the population safe, shouldn’t be a lottery. They all deserve state-of-the art equipment, supplies and vehicles; and our goal is to fund these departments, so they get what they deserve.
Equipment, however, isn’t the only necessity for first responders. Their overall health and well-being need to be in just as good as shape as any oxygen tank or squad. Blueprints are in the works to provide an algorithm for departments to follow that ensure every area of health (clinical, occupational, mental, fitness and lifestyle) is assessed, addressed and tracked for each member; and the funds are provided for doing so.
Additionally, a blueprint is in the works for innovative health, safety and training facilities to be funded, designed, managed and used by first responders and their families across the country.
Let me first start off by saying that America is the greatest country on the planet. We enjoy that bragging right because of our men and women who have served this great country, and continue to do so every day, even after the end of their service. The sacrifices our servicemen and women make are incomprehensible to most of us. From missing children’s birthdays to the ultimate sacrifice and everything in between, there simply aren’t words to express enough thanks. But there are actions. Actions that we at Wellness Wishes, and our loyal supporters, can do every day to ensure our country’s veterans feel the gratitude that we have.
Numerous Veteran’s programs are in the works. Job training, education and staffing are ways we intend to support veterans in integrating into life after military. But some need more. Mental health services, support groups and the like should be readily accessible to every veteran, no matter their situation or location. Finally, no veteran (and their service-animal or pet) in America should ever be homeless or hungry – EVER. Regardless of the need, Wellness Wishes will be the mechanism to convey the gratitude of our country by funding veteran assistance programs, and making a difference in their lives, as they have made in ours.
CONSERVATION & EDUCATION
This pillar of our foundation is, understandably, pretty broad. But at the end of the day, I believe that’s a great thing. While I (and members of Wellness Wishes) have particular causes close to our hearts, pulling them all under ‘Conservation & Education’ seems to make the most sense. There are so many professionals and organizations we hope to work with and learn from; those whose message is important that we help spread the word. Likewise, there are so many new and innovative programs and strategies that we’ve been working on at Wellness Wishes that we’re beyond excited to roll out this year. All of them can be rolled into two sub-categories:
· Sustainability; Environmentally Friendly and Green Practices
One of our brain child’s that I’m most excited about is our “Wishes on Wheels” program. This program utilizes rescued food (to eliminate food waste) to provide nutritious, homemade meals to homebound individuals. The staff of culinary and nutrition experts will come in part, from those looking to gain education and credit in these fields, as well as veterans’ placement. Technological development of applications to order supplemental food and toiletries for homebound individuals, and to be delivered with the meals, is also part of the program. Additionally, staff of business administration and mechanics will come in part, from those looking to gain education and credit in these fields, as well as veterans’ placement. The education and sustainability focus of this program is multi-faceted and intended to assist in many levels of the community and its members.
· Wildlife and Animal Protection, Security and Stability
While this pillar of focus is one particularly close to my heart, it unfortunately is one a little less advanced than the rest. Funding is currently being collected to help us understand a more organized direction and budget for this focus. Partnerships with existing organizations will be key in getting these programs off the ground until more robust programs are devised and implemented.
In the meantime, our imaginations are the only limitations in being able to help with wildlife conservation; protection of habitats such as our oceans; pet rescue, rehabilitation and placement; homeless animal assistance; exposing and ending trophy hunting; humane farming practices; big animal sanctuary – just to name a few.
Currently we have an amazing funding vehicle that is not only helping healthcare organizations (hospitals, surgery centers, specialty centers, clinics, practices) and their foundations or philanthropy efforts obtain funding, but also helping us fund our important initiatives. You can check out ‘Funding Advisors Claims Recovery’ page on our website. Other funding vehicles are also in the works; more traditional non-profit funding initiatives that you might have heard of.
If you’re interested in helping Wellness Wishes by volunteering or donating, please contact us any time. If you’re another organization (non-profit or otherwise) in alignment with our core areas of focus and wish to partner together for a greater effort, please contact us any time. If you have ideas or suggestions regarding our core areas of focus, we’d be happy to hear them, please contact us at any time.
Thank you for taking the time to read a little blurb about so much that is so important to us at Wellness Wishes. And a big thank you to those that have stuck it out this past year: our clients, partners, supporters, volunteers, employees (and my family) – more exciting things to come!
With Warmest Wishes, Erin (President and Director of Funding Advisors)