2020 – Year In Review

Wow! What a year we have had! There are so many ways to describe 2020 for Brian’s House and Brian’s House Community Group – Interesting, challenging, rewarding.  Through it all, with great team work, we had a very successful year.

We were able to welcome 108 guests and their families to Brian’s House in 2020. In speaking with many family members, there was a common theme. They were glad that Brian’s House was here for them; the care that was given to their loved ones and to them was wonderful. We averaged 5-6 people staying with us every day and we had a steady wait list of people in need. Most of our guests stayed 1-10 days and we had a wide age range from 48-99.

Here are some additional highlights from 2020

Brittney Beffrey promoted to House Manager

Picture of Brittney Beffrey

Brittney Beffrey began her new role on February 24, 2020.  Brittney is not new to Brian’s House.  She has been working for Brian’s House as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant since May of 2017. Her familiarity with the operation of Brian’s House and her hands on experience caring for guests makes her the perfect fit for the role as manager. Along with learning her new role, Brittney has played an integral role in navigating how we deliver care to our guests and families during the pandemic. She has worked to ensure that policies and procedures are in place to make Brian’s House safe while maintaining a comfortable, caring, peaceful home.

Donations and Grants

2020 has been a financially challenging year for everyone. Throughout it all, we have received so much support. 

637 individuals, organizations and companies made financial contributions to Brian’s House. (837 in 2019.)

Wednesday Wants Donations

The Wednesday Wants Program on Facebook has been extremely popular and we have received groceries, office supplies, guest care supplies, small appliances, and linen needs. This list is updated weekly.

We were awarded grants totaling $49,356 from:

Bay Area Community Foundation (For operations and reinvigorating the volunteer program)

Michigan Public Health Institute (Personal Protective Equipment for staff)

Thumb National Bank (Payroll Protection Program)

We received a donation of paint from Behr Paint Company and the Bay City Home Depot to repaint our 4,000+ square foot home. The project began in January and came to a halt in March due to the pandemic. We were able to begin again in the fall and we hope to finish this project up by end of March 2021. Our Vice President, Cindy Shaheen is leading the project and has recruited volunteers to help with the painting. She is also working on installing chair rails throughout Brian’s House.

Construction has begun on a new gazebo.  The foundation and new walkway was constructed by the Delta College Residential Construction Program students under the direction of Andrew Neumann, Instructor of Residential Construction.  This spring the students will be constructing the gazebo, which was funded by George Walker, Jr.  Past President and one of the founding members of the Brian’s House Community Group.

This summer, we were able to purchase six new hospital beds and mattresses for our guest rooms. This purchase was made possible by the generous donation from the James Rowley Living Trust Fund.

If you would like to support Brian’s House and our mission with a tax-deductible (as allowed by law) contribution, you may send a check to: Brian’s House Community Group, Inc., PO Box 1201, Bay City MI 48706 or donate online on our website (www.brians-house.org/donate)

Fundraising Events

We had planned to host four events this year.  Due to COVID, we were only able to host Cool2Duel at the State Theatre in October.  Even with the COVID restrictions on event capacities, we were able to raise over $1,300.

Looking to 2021 and beyond

Brian’s House and Brian’s House Community Group’s missions go hand in hand:

Brian’s House Community Group’s mission is “to sustain a residence to provide quality end-of-life care when receiving care at home is not the best option.”

Brian’s House mission is to “provide a caring home-like environment where guests who are enrolled in a hospice program may choose to stay if they are unable to remain in their home.”

In order to continue to meet these missions, fundraising will be a priority. We don’t know what the pandemic has in store for us in 2021, so we must get creative in our approach.

We are tentatively planning to hold our larger fundraising events in the late summer fall of this year. In the spring and summer we hope to be able to raise funds through virtual fundraisers, reaching out to corporations and larger businesses to garner their support for this important service that is provided.

Every dollar that is given provides support for paying our guest care staff, covering household and administrative expenses and training for staff and volunteers.

Volunteerism is another area we hope to increase in 2021. We are looking to fill the following volunteer roles:

  • Guest Care Assistants – helping staff with personal care.
  • Hosts/Hostesses – provide companionship to guests and families.
  • Cooks/Bakers – prepare homemade meals/snacks for our guests.
  • Clerical Assistants – helping with office tasks, answering the phone.

We hope to start our informational/membership meetings soon. If we receive enough interest in attending meetings virtually, we will be glad to host it on Zoom. If you are interested, please send an email to suedeford@brians-house.org. You name will be added to the interest list and you will be contacted when it is scheduled.

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