Anne McDonnell, Executive Director
There have been few times in our history that have demanded as much from us as the coronavirus pandemic; this is the hardest thing many of us have ever experienced, and it seems like we’ve got a long way to go before we can meet together, eat together, and hug each other.
I said to my Board Chair a few weeks ago, I felt like I had moved through Elizabeth’s Kubler-Ross’s Five Stage of Grief. People often think these stages are linear, and that each of them can last a long time. But in reality, these stages can last for minutes or hours, and we may feel one, then bounce around through any of them at any time. That’s certainly been the case for me.
At various points in time through all this, I have two BIAV focused thoughts in my head. The first is BIAV is going to try our best to do the right thing, and do the best we can. We have committed to the idea that if we are trying to do the right thing and it turns out it’s the wrong thing, we can adjust. And the second is this –the brain injury community is one of the most resilient groups I have had the honor to serve. Our lives will be forever changed, and BIAV will change, but I know in my bones we will get through this together. Why? Because each of us have weathered difficult times, and we will work through this one.
Here at BIAV, we started working remotely before the governor’s stay at home order, so we’re all safe. We have certainly taken a financial hit like so many businesses, but our state contracts with the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services have provided us with the necessary funds to serve you. We have begun implementing and creating new plans for serving people we care a lot about. It’s a group effort, and we’re consulting with other nonprofit leaders and BIA’s across the country to learn from and support each other. We’ve gotten our online resources directory up and running, started new online groups, created a temporary assistance fund, and are figuring out how to help persons with brain injury and their families learn how to engage with the technology to be there for each other.
Providing the critical services that advance and support healthy, strong communities is one of the many powerful ways BIAV contributes to the people of Virginia; our ties to you are deep-rooted and abiding. We are determined to get beyond our current obstacles with your help. If you have any ideas for our next steps, we’d love to hear them, because we know how we support you will only get better if you tell us how to do that.
We’re not giving up; we are tenacious and committed to see this thing through to the other side. We’re not going to let anything get in the way of our commitment to creating a strong future for you. Will you join us?