MPTF does a lot of good deeds for our industry members. That’s what we’re here for. Some of them can be very visible, like our recent support of industry member George Herthel and his wife Pam Boroski in fulfilling George’s final wish to have his house re-painted. In many other cases, because of their personal and private nature, many of our activities are far less visible and known only by those who are receiving our help.
In 2011, MPTF’s Social Services team provided charitable financial assistance to over 700 industry members at a “cost” of $1,166,004. The financial support went to everything from late rent payments, doctor’s bills, mortgage assist, health insurance payments, food, temporary lodging, caregivers, and ongoing residential support. We first engage with these industry members as referrals from our doctors, through inbound phone calls to our Social Services line, from referrals from friends and fellow industry members. Behind each and every industry member receiving help from MPTF, there’s a caring, diligent, sophisticated, and empathetic MPTF social worker who is “working the case” with the aim of getting the most help to the client in the quickest and most efficient manner. It isn’t always MPTF dollars that are required; in fact, in many cases what our MPTF social workers are doing is supporting and assisting our industry members as they make their way through the complicated morass of governmental social services or institutional bureaucracy: Do I qualify for veterans assistance? How do I apply and make my case? Are there other agencies I can be turning to? How do I apply for Medi-Cal? Are there housing opportunities, like a board-and-care, in my area?
MPTF’s social workers are the quiet heroes of our organization. Their work is emotionally taxing – day in and day out that empathy comes with a price – often frustrating (you try dealing with governmental agencies all day!), but with great rewards in the end if they are successful in helping. And we clearly are.
Every 2 months, a Case Committee of dedicated Board members and other volunteers assembles to look at many of the current cases. Trust me, they are heart-rending. Far too many of our industry members are fading into the shadows, unemployed, uninsured, suffering from chronic physical or mental illness, without family support. It’s difficult to hear about, but a lot less painful, trust me, than living it. We are all immensely proud to be part of a team that can reach out effectively and “do something.”