Dear Friend of the Brothers,
That statement, “I don’t want to become a burden to our younger Brothers,” is one that I hear over and over again from our elderly and disabled Brothers.
As we get older and are no longer able to do some of the things we used to in our younger days, we all seem to echo some of the same thoughts as our elderly and disabled Brothers. None of us wants to become a burden to our family members. Of course many of us are too proud to admit this plain and simple fact.
Because of this, we typically don’t ask for help. That is why I’m writing to you today.
We need your help!
And that is why I’ve enclosed the nickel along with this letter. Please read on and I’ll explain the significance of the nickel.
First, my name is Br. Hugh Turley and I’ve taken it upon myself to ask you for help for my fellow Marist Brothers. Since our Brothers are too proud to ask for help in their twilight years, I must ask for them.
Now as in their youthful days, our elderly Brothers still follow the teachings of the Marist Brothers’ founder, St. Marcellin Champagnat. St. Marcellin dedicated his life to teaching and helping young people. He taught the Brothers to look with hope at young people which would foster their true human and spiritual formation.
Although time has taken a heavy toll on our elder Brothers’ health and well being, they still remain true to St. Marcellin’s teachings. They still continue their lives of service but it is in a different way. Some are able to tutor young people at a Marist School, others volunteer in the community. Sadly though, some are unable to care for themselves at all. And as each year passes, more and more Brothers are faced with this same situation.
And that brings me to the nickel I’ve enclosed. Back in 1817 a nickel would go a long way in helping to pay the bills the Marist Brothers faced. In the past, the Brothers never concerned themselves with the thought of retirement or how to provide for their special medical needs that would arise in their later years. They were only concerned with using the nickel to educate youth.
Because of this unselfish dedication to helping and teaching young people in the ways of our Lord, the Brothers are now in the unthinkable position of trying to find a way to help cover the costs associated with taking care of our elder Marist Brothers.
While a nickel is still a nickel and in today’s world may be considered “small change,” today we need many more nickels to help provide for our elder Brothers’ special needs. While they live a very simple and modest life, we simply cannot keep up with the increasing cost of caring for them.
The cost of hiring nurses and other physical therapy staff, as well as the costs associated with doctors visits and expensive medicine required by our Brothers, has taken a heavy toll on our finances. The cost of some basic items is small, while the cost of other essential items is a lot more than anyone could have expected even just ten years ago.
- A medical wheelchair costs $505 or 10,100 nickels
- Nursing care for one day costs $225 or, 4,500 nickels
- An electric hospital bed costs $1,200 or 24,000 nickels
- Perscription medications for one day cost $160 or 3,200 nickels
The items listed above are just a few of the many everyday essentials our elder Brothers are in desperate need of. While the majority of the items are basic, we do need many more nickels today than we did back in St. Marcellin’s day.
Each nickel we receive will go a long way in easing the burden placed upon our strained financial budget and will allow our elder Marist Brothers to maintain their dignity and self-esteem while at the same time easing the financial burden being placed upon our younger Brothers.
The Brothers and I are praying that you will help us in paying for the medical care our elder Brothers require.
People have told me over the years that if you need help, all you have to do is ask.
If you don’t ask, you won’t be helped. Today, I’m asking you for help.
Won’t you please help me to help our elderly and disabled Marist Brothers by sending back your gift and the attached nickel in the envelope I’ve enclosed?
Your gift and nickel will go a long way in helping us to provide for our Brothers in their twilight years. While their needs are small, we simply can’t do it alone. We are no longer able, financially, to keep up with the ever-increasing medical costs. As I mentioned earlier in this letter, We Need Your Help!
I assure you your kindness will be appreciated by all of our Brothers. I left some room on the response slip for you to fill in any special intentions you might have. Your intentions will be remembered and prayed for daily by all of our Marist Brothers.
God Bless You for caring,
Br. Hugh P. Turley, F.M.S.
Director of Development