When guests enter The Retreat at Buffalo Hill, Immanuel Lutheran Communities’ short-term rehabilitation community, they’re usually not feeling too great. They come to the Retreat because they need help getting back on their feet after illness, injury, or surgery, and while they’re there, they get a variety of therapies, depending on what their doctor orders. By the time they leave, they’re usually feeling a lot better.
Because they feel so much better when they leave than when they arrived, many guests over the years have expressed their desire to say thank you to the team at the Retreat. That’s why the Immanuel Foundation has just rolled out our Grateful Guest program. This program allows donors to make a gift to one of several funds—and, if they choose, to recognize a staff member who made a particularly big difference for them.
Some guests will choose to donate to the Employee Fund. This fund has two main purposes: to support employees going through a rough patch via the Christ Care Fund (administered by our Pastoral Care department) and to provide funding for those looking to advance their education. Grateful guests help our employees become even better at their jobs. They also help them weather challenges like medical emergencies, car trouble, and heating outages.
Some guests might prefer to give in ways that help future guests experience the same level of service they received during their stay. Gifts to our Programs and Services help make up the difference between Medicaid reimbursement rates and Immanuel’s costs to provide service. They might also purchase necessary equipment that strengthens the Retreat’s ability to help guests get better.
And if guests don’t know how they want their gifts to be used, they can simply tell us to use them for the Greatest Need. Greatest Need funds fill in gaps across campus, and the Immanuel Foundation board helps determine how they’re used.
No matter how they choose to designate their gifts, grateful guests can use their gift to honor a specific staff member who made their time at the Retreat particularly special, healing, or comfortable. This person might be a CNA, a cook, a therapist, a housekeeper, or anyone else who made a difference for them specifically. The staff member will be notified and recognized by their fellow employees.
All in all, the Grateful Guest program is a great new way for Retreat guests to say thank you for their stay while helping Immanuel become an even stronger organization.