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I am reaching out to you today to first offer my best wishes to you and your family during this challenging time.  I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and weathering this uncertain time as best you can.

As you know, the majority of the people we serve are some of the most vulnerable in our community – at-risk children, low-income families and seniors who are living with kidney disease or other health conditions that put them at risk of developing it.  While we have all been negatively impacted by the pandemic, those who were so vulnerable to begin with are bearing the brunt of this crisis.

The disruption of our programs and services caused by COVID-19 is not just an inconvenience.  Without the support we provide to thousands of people, our clients could face a dismal future with diminished health, including the devastating side effects of worsening kidney disease. Improving a person’s quality of life as they battle kidney disease has always been a large part of our mission, however, these unprecedented times are likely to make that job much harder.

But there is HOPE!  We have created a Crisis Response Fund with a goal of raising $75,000 in 30 days to launch and sustain our aggressive plan to combat the serious disruptions caused by COVID-19. With your support, this fund will allow us to:

1. Respond to the increased demand for patient emergency funding to ensure people can maintain their health and well-being during this crisis. Many of our clients have lost their jobs and now need additional support to afford basic necessities like fresh food, heat, rent and rides to dialysis and doctor appointments.

2. Rapidly transition our in-person adult self-management programs to online virtual tele-health platforms for those living with kidney disease (dialysis and transplant patients), or living with diabetes and hypertension, two conditions that put them at risk of chronic kidney disease. This group of high-risk individuals may see a rapid decline in health without our life-changing programs.

3. Train a new group of health coaches and provide clients with scholarships for our classes to ensure there are no barriers to our support and mentoring programs.

4. Expand our one-on-one personal phone services to meet the increased demand for peer support, which is now more important than ever.

I know you care deeply about the at-risk communities we serve.  If you are able, I hope you can make a generous contribution to our Crisis Response Fund to help us save lives.  With your help, we can make sure every person who needs support can get it. Visit www.nkfm.org/giving.

I will update you on our progress in the coming weeks and thank you for considering joining us in this fight!

Linda Smith-Wheelock