At Eventide Senior Living Communities, March 12, 2020, will be remembered as the day that everything changed.
In an instant, employees were pulled away from their families to work extra hours amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Some were unable to work for extended periods as a result of testing positive or having contact with someone who had tested positive. Others, whose spouses had lost their jobs due to the pandemic, were suddenly the sole providers for their families. All the while, they were working tirelessly to mitigate the isolation residents were feeling due to mandatory spacing and visitation restrictions.
“Our loyal, caring, employees are affected by the pandemic in various ways.”
In order to support employees during this time of unthinkable stress, The Eventide Foundation established an Employee Support Program. Through this program, employees experiencing hardships that place undue financial stress on them and their families can apply for financial assistance.
The Foundation’s goal was to have $5,000 in the fund before sharing it with campus directors, and by May 11, they had raised $3,000 of that goal. They were anxious to raise the last $2,000 and begin distributing funds to employees in need. That’s when Trudy Latozke, Executive Director of the Eventide Foundation, remembered the Choice Bank Wishing Well program.
“Our loyal, caring, employees are affected by the pandemic in various ways,” Trudy wrote in her wish submission. “They are under a lot of stress, wearing hot, uncomfortable personal protective equipment while at work, struggling that even if they do everything right, they may bring the virus into the facility or into their home.”
Senior living facilities have been some of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Choice Bank was proud to give back to the dedicated Eventide employees who had sacrificed so much. On June 23, Choice granted Trudy’s wish with a gift of $1,000, bringing Eventide one step closer to their goal.
In the months since Choice Bank granted Trudy’s wish, several Eventide employees have already benefited from the Employee Support Program—and one of those employees is Deb*.
“We appreciate your generous donation to our Employee Support Fund that allowed us to help her!”
Deb has worked for Eventide since January 2016. She is originally from Liberia and returned to visit family she had not seen in many years on February 17th, 2020. Due to COVID-19, her return flight was cancelled; Deb was not offered a refund. She was stuck in Liberia, worrying about her job, her bills, and how she would get back to Fargo.
After numerous calls to the government, Deb was able to board a chartered flight for US citizens on April 29th. After quarantining for two weeks, Deb was finally able to return to work on May 18th, 2020—but then a bill arrived.
The government was charging her $1,600 for that flight home.
Deb’s finances were at an all-time low due to the time she was unable to work. She had endured so much over the past three months—but thanks to Eventide’s Employee Support Program, paying off that bill was one less thing she had to worry about.
“Her request came to our committee and we approved $500 to be paid to the Department of State Accounts Receivable Branch,” Trudy said. “She was very excited and grateful for this assistance, and we appreciate your generous donation to our Employee Support Fund that allowed us to help her!”
*Name has been changed out of respect for the employee’s privacy.