A Message to you, Our Stakeholders

CEO and Founder, Marci Shares a Message to our Stakeholders

Marci provides a current state of affairs on behalf of For Pete’s Sake Cancer Respite Foundation.

Here’s to the next 20 years

Please consider supporting the For Pete’s Sake mission throughout this time of uncertainty by providing the families we serve with hope through our Staycation Respite Program!

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These past nine weeks have been tumultuous on all levels.  Each one of us has been impacted in some way emotionally, psychologically and financially.  Nonprofits are quickly having to adjust to a “new normal” and are facing unprecedented challenges with depleted resources. At For Pete’s Sake Cancer Respite Foundation, we’ve had no choice but to quickly adapt to this storm with two major challenges:  financial support and mission delivery.

Our Financial Impact:  In the past two months, we have had to cancel three of our five major events.  A dozen or more patient-driven events in various communities have also been postponed.  Many of our supporters have had to reprioritize spending because of this environment. Thus, we have had a significant drop in revenue these past eight weeks from what we originally budgeted. And it doesn’t end there. We continue to meet each day with uncertainty as we aren’t sure when large groups can gather again, and we may lose revenue from a year or more of signature events.

We have worked hard over the past few years to prepare ourselves as best possible for future economic downturns, albeit, we never anticipated a situation such as this! In 2015, we launched an endowment that has been managed well by our finance committee.  We have a small reserve that helps us with cash flow and we closely monitor our expenses to conserve capital.  We received a PPP loan under the CARES Act and are taking steps to ensure it is forgiven upon depletion.  I am proud of our staff that has quickly learned new skills, invested time to research the best technology and created innovative initiatives that connect our supporters while helping us fundraise. In the past two months, my colleagues have made thousands of calls to patients, caregivers and children who have benefited from our program in the past. Ultimately, our goal is to preserve our mission so that when brighter days come, FPS is the go-to resource for families seeking Cancer Respite!

Mission Delivery:  Our Travel Respite program has been challenged. We suspended all travel at this pandemic’s onset and as it begins to return, we will focus only on local respites with travel partners capable of complying with CDC guidelines.  Thus, we ensure that our patients and families remain as safe as possible as they experience respite.  Sadly, of nearly 50 families in our program two months ago, several have passed away. Since travel remains in jeopardy, we have pivoted our program to provide more Staycation Respites for advanced stage cancer patients and are piloting this program for sustained outcomes with nominators from University of Pennsylvania, MD Anderson Cooper, Fox Chase Cancer Center and University of Maryland.  As we examine our budget going forward, we have included a substantial number of these Staycation Respites alongside our Travel Respite program.

As we adapt to this current environment, we continue to explore how we can best deliver the gift of respite in a scaled environment that is both cost-effective and efficient.  At our Board Meeting on March 11th, 2020 (the week that life drastically changed), we evaluated the possibility of a joint venture with our travel partner Woodloch Resort in opening a permanent respite center for FPS families.  Thus, we will continue to explore such a possibility and take those reasonable steps to consider this project’s viability so that in the FPS of tomorrow, hundreds of families experience transformational time together in a safe and secure setting.

As we move forward, we will carefully evaluate our mission and operations to ensure long term stability.  We will continue with full transparency and stewardship with a continued focus on those best practices that have made FPS an efficient, effective nonprofit. This processed approach is our commitment to every one of our stakeholders who invested in the FPS mission over the past twenty years.  Let us look forward to the next twenty.  #20yearsstrong

If you have any questions, please reach out to me (my cell is best at 215.416.7489 or email me at marci@takeabreakfromcancer.org). We are all experiencing the unknown together.  Thank you for being along this journey with us. Thank you for your time, talent and treasure. We will get through this together!