By: Fran Bulloff, VTI President
We are beginning the season of Thanksgiving, which may be bitter sweet for many people this year. The toll of the coronavirus pandemic continues to rip through the world. Some families are grieving their lost friends and loved ones, praying for their health, struggling to put food on the table and keep their children educated. Others are able to enjoy the company of small gatherings and will give thanks for weathering this horrific pandemic.
I would like to mention one notable loss for the Validation community. Our first President, Lita Kohn, recently died at the age of 95 amongst family on their farm in Arizona. Lita used her background in teaching English to be a wonderful communicator of the Validation message. She projected calm and poise even during heated Board discussions and welcomed each new Board member with hospitality and genuine caring. It has been my privilege to know Lita, work with her, and succeed her as President of the VTI Board. A tribute to Lita Kohn will be appearing in the December Validation Newsletter with more personal memories of her.
I heard a speaker recently describe her own leadership style as “service leadership.” By that she explained that as a state high court judge she tries to lead by example and serve each and every resident of her state fairly and equitably. She described the non-leaders not as “followers,” but as “contributors,” saying that their contributions to the cause of justice were as essential as hers. That is the kind of leader I strive to be as President of VTI and I ask you to be contributors to the success of our cause to educate and inform about Validation.
Validation is weathering the storm of COVID-19 by being innovative and giving despite reduced income from loss of in-person classes. We are continuing to develop new products to serve professional and family caregivers, paramedics, and interested community members. These include new introductory online courses, interactive webinars, and a new documentary about Naomi Feil. Many of our resources are available free of charge on our website or at comparatively low cost for this type of training. VTI is a small non-profit organization with a large global impact. We operate on a modest budget with low overhead so that we can apply our funds directly to the mission of helping Validation grow. Once a year we launch a Fall Fundraiser which will officially begin this year on November 25th and may be accessed on GoFundMe at: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/12-days-of-giving-with-purpose This year’s fundraising goal will be $20,000.
If you are already part of the Validation community or would like to know more about Validation and the way it can help you communicate with an older adult living with dementia type cognitive decline, please consider becoming a contributor and showing your support by donating to our Fall Fundraiser. We are thankful for the work that you do every day and the way you contribute to our efforts. Happy Thanksgiving!