We celebrate 6 years as an organization this week. We became incorporated as Children’s Lighthouse of MN on September 30, 2009, and shortly thereafter received our designation as a non-profit, public charity. Time is of the essence as we feel the urgency for the home we are working to build now more than ever. Currently, we are providing support services to 30 families who have a child with a shortened life expectancy. Each family reminds us to keep going as they are waiting for this home.
This month we will be hosting our first annual Pediatric Palliative Care Symposium, Oct. 16th and 17th at LifeSource in Minneapolis with the goal to advance care and support for families caring for a child with a life-threatening condition. While we are proud of these accomplishments, we continue on in our determination to build the Midwest’s first children’s hospice and respite home.
The anniversary of our becoming an organization with this surmounting goal is humbling and energizing. When we first became Children’s Lighthouse of MN, we anticipated it would take us 5-10 years to build this home. Reaching this 6th year as an organization is humbling because of the many families we have met along the way whose son or daughter died at home or at the hospital with a wish they had a home like this for where to turn. Their wish now is that this home will exist for families who don’t know they need it yet, as 500 children are newly diagnosed in MN each year with a life-threatening condition. These are the same families who energize us to keep going. The first couple of years as an organization we often heard, ‘it will take a few years for people to know who you are and what you are working towards’, and ‘this won’t happen overnight’, and ‘be patient and persistent and keep going!’
Patience can be daunting when our destination of having this home is urgently needed. It takes time to build quality, trusting relationships with families and clinicians, but also with donors, many of whom had no idea a home like this didn’t exist in our community. We are also building relationships with policy makers and private insurance payers who are also often unfamiliar with this model as it exists in other countries, but is not yet a prevalent model of care in our own country. Each relationship built over the last 6 years is the foundation for who we have become and for where we are going.
Our persistence as an organization and community is why we’ve come as far as we have. We couldn’t have imagined the people we have met, the support that has been provided, and the resources secured when we began 6 years ago. We knew and believed in our mission, built a strategy, and stayed the course.
Now, as we look to the 7th year as an organization now called Crescent Cove, we are confident in our ability to reach our goal because of the many passionate individuals and families who have taken this vision on as their own. Thank you all for believing in and supporting the mission of Crescent Cove: A place of respite for kids and families!