We Care About You

Greetings OLSHF Trustees, Staff, and Friends:

I wanted to reach out to you with an OLSHF update as of today in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and outbreak here in the United States and in Oregon. There were 90 new cases reported yesterday here in Oregon with a total of 826 known cases of COVID-19 in 14 counties statewide. Based on the number of COVID-19 tests available, it stands to reason that there are far more COVID-19 cases that the Oregon Health Authority is able to officially report.

At the time of this writing, 92% of Americans are on a Stay at Home order and most seem to understand the importance of “flattening the curve” of the demand on our healthcare system through social distancing. As most are aware now, Social Distancing measures are taken to restrict when and where people can gather to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. Social distancing measures include limiting large groups of people coming together, closing buildings and canceling events.

At OLSHF we are taking these measures seriously and have adopted the following steps:

  • Consistent with Oregon school closures, all School Vision Screening events are canceled at least through April 28
  • Keep the Promise events in Eugene and Salem have been canceled – Status of KTP events in May and June will be announced 30 days prior to scheduled dates
  • OLSHF Staff are required to work remotely at least through April 30th – Some staff visit the office to perform essential functions and must follow distancing guidelines

While working remotely OLSHF Staff is able to continue important work:

  • Accepting referrals for sight and hearing assistance and forwarding requests along to local Lions Clubs, partnering agencies, and healthcare partners
  • Communicating with schools pertaining to screening results, rescheduling screening events, and scheduling for 2020-21
  • Connecting with local Lions throughout the state and conducting health and well-being check-ins
  • Working with funding sources to seek support for our 2020 Vision Capital Campaign
  • Producing Keep the Promise Campaign video content and communicating to prospective donors for our 2020 KTP virtual fundraising campaign

Plus, our LEAP Optical Staff are able to visit the LEAP Optical Lab to produce new eyeglasses for those in need around the State of Oregon. We do have orders coming in, albeit far fewer than at a normal rate.

We ask that now, more than ever – if you are able to do so – that you take some time to support our 2020 Keep the Promise Campaign by doing the following:

  • Make a KTP donation OR join or renew your PRIDE participation
  • Share the KTP videos on your social media platforms when you see or receive them
  • Email the KTP videos to friends, family, and fellow Lions and encourage them to make a gift to OLSHF
  • Let us know if you are willing to help with the 2020 KTP Campaign by taking part in a virtual KTP Telethon later in April

Here is the first in a series of 2020 KTP Videos, this one focuses on our partnerships in Lane County and how we “keep the promise” of addressing blindness and hearing loss for people in need in that part of the state.

2020 KTP Eugene Video

Some Promising News on COVID-19As for the virus itself, there are some encouraging signs on a daily basis that progress is being made to slow the pandemic. Here’s a link to an article posted today by Social CRM’s Paul Greenberg: https://www.zdnet.com/article/covid-19-lets-not-let-the-hopeful-news-get-lost/. Some of the highlights are: 

  • After 14 days of the Stay at Home order, doctors in the SF Bay Area are seeing fewer COVID-19 cases than they expected
  • Medical supplier Henry Schein announced a test kit for COVID-19 antibodies is available to ship to doctor’s offices and expects to make millions of tests immediately
  • Johnson and Johnson announced today that they are confident enough in a possible vaccine that they will start construction on a plant to manufacture the vaccine. Assuming completion of testing and FDA approval, millions of doses of the vaccine will be available next spring
  • Numerous American companies are halting production of products to temporarily manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare professionals
  • Ford And General Electric will start manufacturing ventilators in two facilities and will have 50,000 made by July
  • There are countless more examples of positive news in the article to read

We Care About You
Most importantly, we ask that you take care of yourselves. We want you to know that you are important to us here at OLSHF and we believe that you are special. You’ve affiliated yourself with an organization that takes its mission very seriously and we won’t let a pandemic stop us from addressing preventable blindness and hearing loss. It may slow us down for the short term, but it will not stop us.

Respectfully,

Doug Thompson
Executive Director

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