OFRA Achieves Pandemic Fundraising Goal and Thanks The City For Its Support!

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Staff at OFRA holding PPE. Photo supplied by OFRA.

Sault Ste. Marie: The Ontario Finnish Resthome Association (OFRA) and Foundation would like to extend its overwhelming gratitude and appreciation for the donations that came in during its COVID-19 Pandemic Fund Campaign. This fundraising effort was initiated to assist with the escalating cost of supplies and personnel needed to ensure the health and safety of the residents and staff in supportive housing and assisted living facility, Kotitalo, only. OFRA has not received any government funding to assist with these mandated costs for Kotitalo. OFRA is not even sure how much longer the current government funding for our Long-Term Care Home, Mauno Kaihla Koti, will last.

Nonetheless, over the last 3.5 months, OFRA’s generous donors have helped achieve its COVID-19 Pandemic Fundraising goal of $20,000. These funds will go directly to assist with the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), hand sanitizer and additional disinfectant supplies. Currently, this campaign has helped cover approximately 1/3 of Kotitalo’s COVID-19 costs that have incurred to date, which is in no small feat itself. However, as the pandemic continues, OFRA is not out of the woods yet.

Some have asked, has OFRA’s expenses grown so much because of COVID-19? During the first quarter of 2020, a case of 2,000 surgical masks cost $92. However, due to COVID-19, the exact same case now costs $1240. OFRA averages 2 boxes or 100 masks per day! A case of 50 isolation gowns was $15 and today the cost is $89. Everything in the line of PPE has increased significantly in cost. Hand sanitizer and disinfectants are in high demand to keep the germs away.

OFRA and the Foundation would also like to acknowledge their love and appreciation for the OFRA Ladies’ Auxiliary. The Ladies’ Auxiliary has also played an important role during this unprecedented time. They have donated $10,000 towards OFRA’s own “scrub” program for all of our staff. This program dictates that if an outbreak occurs, staff will need to change into OFRA scrubs for the duration of their shift, and then change back into their street clothes before going home. These scrubs will stay on site and be laundered by OFRA’s housekeeping department. This will assist in reducing the potential spread of the outbreak.

As you are aware, OFRA is a non-profit organization, and facing these ever-increasing costs is putting a burden on our finances. It may even jeopardize some of its future projects! As such, we are still accepting donations daily towards this campaign. Any amount that you could donate towards these extra costs would go directly towards protecting its residents and staff. What comes from the heart goes to the heart.

OFRA would also like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to the countless businesses, families and individuals that donated personal protective equipment and supplies throughout this pandemic. Your generosity was overwhelming and we were so touched.

Thank you to the countless seamstresses that made thousands of reusable masks for its residents and staff. Thank you to ALL of the wonderful people that thought of us and sent us baked goods, pizza, donuts, freezies, sandwich and wrap trays and so much more!

A sincere “Thank You” to the following people as well:

Canadian Tire Corporation for 300 face shields, our local Canadian Tire, Guy’s Auto Body, Purolator, The Forestry Lab Crew, Air Purifications Inc., Northwood Funeral Home, and many other individuals who provided us with various personal protective equipment including surgical and N95 masks, gloves, gowns and hand sanitizer.