The following is an update from Lutheran Services in America President and CEO Charlotte Haberaecker for member CEOs.
Dear Lutheran Services in America members:
First, thank you again for the incredible work you are doing to fight COVID-19 and protect your team and the one in 50 Americans you care for. I’ve heard from many of you and am humbled by the heroic and in some cases, heartbreaking stories you’ve shared and the determination you have to overcome the barriers you face to ensure the health and well-being of the people you care for.
We know the extraordinary steps you are taking and expenses you are incurring along with the lost revenue from the pandemic. And that business continuity is critical not only to make it through the crisis—but to be there when it’s over to be the steady presence you’ve always been in your community. At Lutheran Services in America we are on the front lines of advocating for you. Thank you to those of you who responded to our advocacy alert and contacted their Senators since the $1.67t emergency relief package under consideration contained $300b in loans and grants, but excluded any nonprofit that receives Medicaid or has over 500 employees.
The proposed Senate $1.67t legislation failed and the action now shifts to the House which is expected to act quickly. Please call or email your House Congressional members to ensure that nonprofit organizations are included in the emergency relief package and that nonprofits receiving Medicaid funding or those with over 500 employees are not excluded.
We also reached out to our coalition partners to gain their support for emergency relief--including the Independent Sector who is now advocating to exempt nonprofits receiving Medicaid and include those with over 500 employees. We also joined leading nonprofits to advocate for $60b in emergency relief for nonprofits.
Second, we are reaching out to our national partners to obtain support for our members in these unprecedented times. This includes our partners in the national health insurance firms as well as major foundations. We held a session on Friday with a major health insurer and several members that was productive in identifying potential areas to collaborate and we will be having discussions with additional insurers. We have also been reaching out to our members in 1-1 conversations to better understand your needs—please feel free to contact me if we haven’t had the opportunity to talk yet.
Third, we are seeking philanthropic support from major foundation partners and will keep you informed about additional funding from emergency relief or longer term rebuilding funds in your area. In the early stages of disasters, typically local community foundations and other local and regional foundations are the first to respond. We compiled a list of local resources by state. In addition, a complete set of our COVID-19 resources on our website is here.
As the epidemic unfolds, please let us know additional ways we can support you. We are in this together.
As people of faith in this Lenten season, we know that light comes out of the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. Thank you for bringing light to so many people. Together as a faith-based network, we can illumine the world and banish the darkness.