The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation presented the Alzheimer’s Association, Coachella Valley branch, with a $25,000 grant. The Coachella Valley Spotlight grant will support the organization’s full array of services to desert families living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Since March 2020, classes, workshops and support groups moved to an online format due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the Association’s responsibility to protect the population most vulnerable to the virus.
“People with Alzheimer’s and other dementias and their caregivers have been particularly hit hard by the challenges related to the pandemic, from the debilitating effects of social isolation and financial struggles, to the inability to articulate safety protocols to their loved ones,” said Cortney Weir, Regional Director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Coachella Valley.
The Alzheimer’s Association has served the Coachella Valley for more than 20 years. It currently runs 14 volunteer-led support groups in the area and provides ongoing training and education to its facilitators. Free education for the general public includes classes such as, “10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s,” “Understanding Alzheimer’s,” and “Effective Communication.” A popular 4-week workshop called “Caregiver EssentialAlz” offers a comprehensive training that gives caregivers the tools and strategies needed to succeed in their roles. The organization also offers care consultations that pair program staff with families to help them plan short and long term goals and/or deal with crisis situations as they arise.
“The Alzheimer’s Association programs meet Coachella Valley families wherever they are in this difficult journey by offering various levels of support and education,” said Catharine Reed, Vice President of Charitable Programs for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.
The nonprofit also arranges many social engagement programs, including art therapy and music. These classes and gatherings have continued online, however the organization is planning to restart in-person groups soon, including opportunities to experience local attractions with the support of the Alzheimer’s Association staff and volunteers. Although, the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year – Walk to End Alzheimer’s – was cancelled in 2020, the Alzheimer’s Association is excited to bring it back to the Coachella Valley on November 13 at Civic Center Park.
“The Alzheimer’s Association, like many nonprofit organizations, have not only had to shift their services through the pandemic, but they have also had to change or eliminate their fundraisers. We are hopeful that this Coachella Valley Spotlight grant will help fill some of that gap left in the wake of 2020,” said Jerry Upham, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates KESQ News Channel 3 and KPSP CBS Local 2.
Through the Coachella Valley Spotlight partnership with the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and News Channel 3, the Alzheimer’s Association was featured on News Channel 3 programming, in public service announcements and on kesq.com throughout September. For more information visit www.alz.org/socal or call 760-996-0006. The Alzheimer’s Association is located at 74020 Alessandro Drive, Palm Desert.
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