Dear Families and Friends,
As we all navigate the unfamiliar and unsettling day-to-day challenges that have accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic, we at May Institute would like to take a few moments to share heartfelt thanks, updates about our programs and services, and words of encouragement and hope.
First, we want you to know how grateful we are for the support we have been receiving during this difficult time. Thanks to all of those who have reached out and stepped up to help meet the needs of the individuals we serve. Thanks, too, for the messages of encouragement and gratitude from the community to our employees. They make a difference.
We are especially proud of and grateful to our staff. Some are being redeployed as needed to other jobs and tasks, or redefining what their work looks like. Some are continuing to do their “normal” jobs in a situation that is anything but normal. And some are moving into “stand-by” status, which is creating stressors of a different kind.
Many of our men and women are on the frontlines every day, working selflessly to ensure the individuals in our care receive the best possible care, even with the shifting demands of their personal lives. They embody the very heart and soul of our organization.
Our day schools, center-based programs for children, and adult day habilitation programs are all closed at this time. We are implementing opportunities for online learning and online family support wherever possible. Our student and adult residences are operating, but are not open to visitors. See a complete list of the status of our services here.
Behind the scenes, our multidisciplinary COVID-19 Task Force meets daily to ensure we are coordinating services, responding to needs, and trouble-shooting. We are doing everything possible, as quickly as possible, to take care of our individuals and respond to the new guidelines from our local, state, and national government, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We are also in close contact with the Department of Developmental Services, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Massachusetts Association of 766-Approved Private Schools (maaps), among other organizations.
During this time of physical distancing, we have been reaching out in an effort to stay connected to our employees and our constituencies. We are providing educational and support resources and engaging with our social media community in ways we hope they – and you – find valuable. I encourage you to join us online and take this journey together with us.
Many of you have asked how you can help. Here’s one way: We are accepting donations of new personal protective equipment (PPE) and sewn face masks. Visit this page for more information. Here’s another way: Please consider making a donation that funds essential services for the individuals we serve and supports our direct care staff who are working tirelessly.
Although everyone’s lives have changed dramatically in the past few weeks, one thing has remained constant at May: our commitment to our mission – to serve individuals across the lifespan with autism, developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, neurological disorders, and other special needs.
We will weather this crisis together and emerge stronger and more determined than ever to make our world a better place, one life at a time. In the meantime, there has never been a more important time to be kind to each other.
With sincere gratitude,
Lauren C. Solotar, Ph.D., ABPP
President and Chief Executive Officer