Guided by Christian compassion, WesleyLife believes everyone should have the opportunity to live a life of continued growth, experience, engagement, and joy, regardless of physical, social, or economic circumstances. A significant way we illustrate this belief is through the WesleyLife Promise.
The promise began with WesleyLife's inception in 1947. Since then, we've assured our residents that if they deplete their financial resources through no fault of their own, they will never be asked to leave their homes with us, or experience a reduction in the degree of care they receive.
Susan H.*, a resident at one of our Communities for Healthy Living, benefited from the Promise when she unexpectedly needed to transfer to the campus health center following a sudden illness. She and her family never could have imagined that just two years after moving to Independent Living, Susan would be experiencing a far different life — and facing the dramatic increase in medical costs that can accompany such a change.
"Mom was well set-up financially, so when my brother and I saw how little money she had left, we were alarmed," Susan's daughter, Pam, says. "We thought we'd need to move her in with one of us, and then the question became: Which one of us would quit our job to help care for her? Luckily, we became aware that the Good Samaritan Fund was an option."
Similarly, the Promise was called into action when George and Kathy A.'s* retirement savings was decimated by a collapse in the stock market. The couple, longtime Independent Living residents at a WesleyLife community in the Des Moines area, were heartbroken that the money they had worked so hard to make and to save was so suddenly gone.
Moving in with the kids?
George and Kathy were also planning to move in with one of their adult children when they learned that donations to their community's Good Samaritan fund would help pay their monthly service fee, and they would be able to stay in their apartment home.
"I love my kids, but moving in with them would mean giving up so much independence," George says. "Besides, we didn't want to be a burden. I felt bad accepting help from the Good Samaritan Fund, but the kids reminded us that if the shoe were on the other foot, we'd be eager to help others.
"And we have! We can't give a lot, but we do donate to the fund whenever we can so we can be a part of helping others in similar situations."
Finally, the Promise was called into play when Marlon F.* turned 95 and took a close look at his finances. Having moved into Independent Living with his wife when both were 68, he never expected to be nearing centenarian status, and the money he had so carefully saved and invested was beginning to dwindle.
Marlon was delighted to learn that his campus's Good Samaritan fund could help him continue to afford his apartment.
"It's never easy to accept help, but I had nowhere else to turn, and I would have hated to leave my home of nearly 30 years and all the friends I've made," Marlon says. "When I learned there was an option for me, I'm not ashamed to say I cried."
Making it all possible
Supported solely by donations, the WesleyLife Promise is funded by each community's Good Samaritan or Good Shepherd fund. Each WesleyLife community supports its own residents in times of financial need through local fundraising activities and events, such as chili suppers, golf outings, and garage sales. Broader fundraising efforts through philanthropic giving also contribute funds to support the promise.
As healthy living in our communities can happily lead to longer lives, increasing numbers of residents may need assistance in the years to come. The WesleyLife Promise covers not only the cost of care for residents whose needs cannot be met with government-funded programs, but also helps provide necessities and comfort items. Those who receive funds do so confidentially.
Please consider donating to the Good Samaritan/Good Shepherd fund at the community of your choice to help keep residents safe and healthy at home. Whether you are giving for the first time or have supported these funds previously, we appreciate your compassion and generosity!
*These names have been changed out of respect to residents who have benefited from the WesleyLife Promise.