Last Updated on January 4, 2023 by Luke Feldbrugge
Everyone has a nurse in their life–a friend, a family member or someone who cared for them at a particularly vulnerable time. This month Homes for Heroes is celebrating three grants for nurse foundations.
- The North Carolina Foundation for Nursing
- The Connecticut Nurses Foundation
- The Georgia Nurses Foundation
Each, in their own way, support and advance the nursing community, and the Homes for Heroes Foundation knew it was time to recognize them and help them advance their mission. Lisa Walsh, Director of the Homes for Heroes Foundation, says “Because nurses operate at such a high level in the healthcare world, we know that supporting their continued development and education is vital. These three organizations aren’t just supporting their nursing community, they are building a stronger future for nursing. It’s a future that will benefit all of us.”
Susan Goncalves, president of the Connecticut Nurses Association, echoes that. “Nurses, just by their very nature, are giving people. They care about their colleagues. They care about the profession. They care about individuals out in society. We have a saying: once a nurse, always a nurse.”
In addition to scholarship and educational help, the Georgia Nurses Foundation takes the extra step to help nurses who have substance abuse problems. Matt Caseman with the Georgia Nurses Foundation tells of a letter he received when he first started. “The letter I received that day was reiterating the fact that this program had literally saved her life and that she had been practicing for the last 30 years. She had been clean and sober, and she had been helping patients for the last 30 years as a nurse.”
But don’t take our word for it. There is a video below for each organization, and they are worth a look.
North Carolina Foundation for Nursing Interview with Jay Flynn
Jay: Hey everybody, I’m Jay Flynn, outreach coordinator. And I’m in beautiful Harrisburg, North Carolina, Metropark. I’m joined by a wonderful group of health care professionals behind me. I also have Miss Diamond Staton-Williams, who’s the president of the North Carolina Foundation for Nursing.
We’re here because you guys were selected as a Home for Heroes Foundation Grant Award recipient. That’s pretty awesome. Let’s go ahead. It’s my honor to present the North Carolina Foundation for Nursing with this check for $5,000 to help our nursing and health care professionals across the state.
Diamond: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Jay: Let’s chat a little bit about the North Carolina Foundation for Nursing. Give me a little bit of history on the foundation.
Diamond: Okay, I’ll give you a brief history of the North Carolina Nurses Association and how we came up with the foundation. North Carolina had the first nursing (board) in the entire nation. In 1903, Mary Lewis White was one of our leaders in nursing and went to the legislature and lobbied for us to have a national state registry for nursing.
So we have been first in the nation–since 1903–with the first nursing practice.
The foundation started in 1988, and it’s an arm of the North Carolina Nurses Association. We’re responsible for scholarship and research for nursing. We know that the current structure of health care needs us, as nurses, to be well prepared to deliver care to our residents.
Jay: We talked a little bit about the programs that you guys offer, so expound on that.
Diamond: We have, of course, our scholarships that we provide. In order for us to be able to provide these wonderful nurses with scholarships to advance their careers, we have several different programs. We have the Amazon Smile program, where anyone can go on to Amazon and select the North Carolina Nurses Association to be a recipient of some of the funds from those purchases through Amazon.
We also have the “First in Nursing” license plate. $15 from every sale of the nursing license plate comes to the foundation and supports those scholarships. Also, anyone who has a great nurse in their life can honor them and donate money to the foundation for that purpose.
Jay: That’s awesome. We’ve shared that donate link on the video for all of our watchers too. All right. We talked about all the great work you guys do and how long you’ve been around. How many nurses or health care professionals do you guys support every year?
Diamond: Annually we’re able to support about 15 to 20 nurses with different scholarship opportunities.
Jay: That’s awesome. So why is this grant important to the North Carolina Foundation for Nursing? How are you guys going to use the funds?
Diamond: We’re so grateful for Homes for Heroes for providing this donation of $5,000 to the foundation. It gives us the ability to help support more nurses in their education and research–so they can provide help to all of North Carolina.
Jay: Thank you guys for everything you do–and what you and the foundation will do for our health care professionals. Thanks to our audience for joining us today. The best way that you can show your support for us is give this video a like, give it a share, and leave us a comment below.
Stay tuned next time for future episodes to see how the Homes for Heroes Foundation is helping wonderful groups, just like the North Carolina Foundation for Nursing. And if you have a minute today, go out of your way and say thank you to a hero. Have a great day, everybody.
Connecticut Nurses Foundation Interview with Jay Flynn
Jay: Hello and thank you for joining us today. I’m Jay Flynn, Homes for Heroes Outreach Coordinator. And I’m joined today by Susan Goncalves, the president of the Connecticut Nurses Association and Kimberly Sanders, the Connecticut Nurses Foundation executive director. Welcome, guys.
Susan and Kimberly: Thank you.
Jay: Awesome. As part of the Homes for Heroes Circle of Giving, the Homes for Heroes Foundation provides grants to nonprofits whose missions are to help our heroes in need. I’m happy to announce that the Connecticut Nurses Foundation is a Homes for Heroes Foundation 2022 grant recipient. Kimberly and Susan. The Homes for Heroes Foundation is honored to provide the Connecticut Nurses Foundation with a $5,000 grant.
Susan: Thank you so much.
Jay: Awesome. We certainly owe a huge amount of gratitude to everybody who serves in the nursing community. So many new challenges face our nurses today. And I hope that this grant helps the Connecticut Nurses Foundation continue to serve our nation’s heroes. So let’s talk for a few minutes about the Connecticut Nurses Foundation and its mission.
So when was the foundation founded and what inspired the foundation to create it?
Kimberly: It’s very exciting to think about how long the foundation and the Connecticut Nurses Association has been around. The Connecticut Nurses Association was established in 1904 and the foundation was established in 1983. So next year we’ll be coming on our 40 year anniversary for the foundation. As you know, nurses are amazing people. They are caring individuals and always thinking about each other and the public.
So back in the 1980s, some of our nurses came together and felt that a foundation was needed to support and advance the profession, as well as the health of citizens in Connecticut.
Jay: That’s awesome. And congratulations on the upcoming anniversary. So what type of resources does the Connecticut Nurses Foundation provide to the nursing community?
Kimberly: The foundation really achieves its mission by supporting nursing education and research through fundraising and scholarship. We also do fundraising for different purposes. For example, during the pandemic, we did a Heroes Fundraiser that we were able to then turn around to provide some resources and services to nurses. And we also preserve the nursing history in Connecticut so that we can capture the evolution and advances that the nursing profession has made–as well as its impact on those in Connecticut.
The foundation takes a very special role in honoring nurses who have passed through the Nightingale tribute. Each year at our annual meeting, we read a tribute to the nurses to honor their life and service as a nurse, and then we share a rose in remembrance of them as their names are shared.
Jay: Wow, those are all just wonderful things that you guys were doing. With all of those different programs, is there a story or two that you could share about the impact that the Connecticut Nurses Foundation has had on the nursing community?
Kimberly: Yes, so many stories. I think one of our biggest roles is promoting our future generations of nurses through our scholarship program. We provide scholarships to students that are attending schools in Connecticut for nursing. And this year, we had a record number of applications. I believe it was in the eighties.
It was a very diverse group of nurses looking to receive scholarship funds. Our scholarship funds come from a couple of different sources. We’re so excited about this foundation award because it will really add to our chest. We can then give money right out to the nurses in Connecticut. And the past three years, we’ve given over 50 scholarships to support nurses and to support different research programs during the pandemic.
Through our fundraising, we are also able to provide care packages (with supportive stockings and other things) to some of our colleagues in long-term care facilities. We know they were very heavily hit during the pandemic, and we were able to provide some funds to support nurses’ physical health and to cover some unexpected expenses that they experienced during the pandemic.
But probably one of the stories that’s closest to my heart is about preserving nursing history. A great example of this is the Army Nurse Cadet Corps. This was a group of nurses that grew out of World War II and the need for nurses in our stateside hospital. As medical professionals were whisked away to help with the war campaign, our hospitals were left understaffed. This group of nurses were trained and onboarded, and they provided 80% of the nursing care in hospitals stateside during World War II.
We have been working with them to get recognition by the federal government, as well as in our state, for their work and contributions during that time. Now every year on June 15th in Connecticut, we celebrate and honor the nurses that served at home during World War Two.
Jay: Wow, that is amazing. Stepping up during that tremendous time of need is just an awesome legacy. So you talked about scholarships. How is this Homes for Heroes Foundation grant going to help support the Connecticut Nurses Foundation mission of supporting the nursing community?
Kimberly: We are going to put that right into our scholarship fund. We hope that we continue to inspire and lessen the burden for our young nurses that are entering the profession at this unprecedented time. We want to keep them inspired, encouraged and supported as they continue on their journey.
Jay: Susan, your turn. From the Nurses Association perspective, what type of impact do you think it will make on your members to know that, as part of the partnership between the Nurses Association and Homes for Heroes, they are going to be giving back to their very own foundation. They’re also going to be helping other hero groups across the nation.
Susan: Absolutely, Jay. The Connecticut Nurses Association is so proud to participate in this program, and I think nurses are going to be honored. It is just so wonderful and heartwarming to know that we can support them through the Homes for Heroes program to create that home that they want.
And nurses, just by their very nature and their core, are giving people. They care about their colleagues. They care about the profession. They care about individuals out in society. We have a saying, and Kimberly knows this quite well: Once a nurse, always a nurse, because a nurse never leaves the profession. I think knowing that their home purchase can also support future generations of nurses–which to me is the epitome of mentorship and giving back–will bring them great joy and happiness.
Jay: That is just awesome. It fits so well with the Homes for Heroes Circle of Giving. It all comes back around. You guys are amazing. Your foundation is such a wonderful group helping our nurses in need. Everything that you guys are doing is truly making a difference in nurses’ lives across the state of Connecticut.
Kimberly: Well, thank you so much. We are so appreciative that you have this program and we’ve been able to partner.
Jay: Absolutely. So tell our audience a little bit about where they can go to learn about supporting the mission of the Connecticut Nurses Foundation.
Kimberly: You can go to our website and there’s a big donate button on there. We are always looking for nurses with energy and passion who want to get involved. They can always send us an email directly through that page. There’s a little contact button.
Jay: Off of Susan. Anything you’d like to add?
Susan: I just want to say thank you on behalf of all the nurses. Thank you.
Jay: Absolutely. So thank both of you guys for taking the time to join me today. And thank you for everything that you guys are doing to support nurses across the state of Connecticut. To our audience, thank you for joining us. And then also give us a like, give us a share. Let folks know that you support this great foundation.
And most importantly, if you have a moment, go out and say thank you to one of our heroes today. People need to hear it. Sometimes our heroes don’t hear that enough. Make sure you tune in to future episodes to learn more about the meaningful nonprofits that the Homes for Heroes Foundation helps.
Until next time, remember to say thank you to hear it. Have a good day, everybody.
Georgia Nurses Foundation Interview with Jay Flynn
Jay: Hello, thanks for joining us today. I’m Jay Flynn, Homes for Heroes outreach coordinator, and I’m joined by my colleague Sophia Penny, Georgia Nurses Foundation contract specialist, and Matt Caseman with the Georgia Nurses Foundation. How are you guys today?
As part of the whole Circle of Giving, the Homes for Heroes Foundation provides grants to nonprofits whose missions are to support our heroes in need. And I’m so happy to announce that the Georgia Nurses Foundation is a Home for Heroes Foundation 2022 recipient. Matt, the Homes for Heroes Foundation are so honored to provide the Georgia Nurses Foundation with the $10,000 grant.
Sophia, you were there. You actually got to take the big grant check. So tell us a little bit about that.
Sophia: I was actually able to attend both events. They had a golf tournament to raise money, as well as the conference the following day. So I had a couple of different opportunities to present the check and to really get our program out in front of the attendees. It was really great to be able to actually go and interact with our health care heroes, our nurses.
I got to tell them more about the program, as well as this new member benefit program through Homes for Heroes, that GNA will offer its members. With this they can save money when they buy, sell or refinance their home. It was just a really great experience overall to be able to also present a large sum of money to the Georgia Nursing Scholarship for the Georgia Nurses Foundation.
Being able to reinvest in our future healthcare heroes was really fulfilling.
Jay: That’s awesome. Matt, congratulations on your grant. We really owe a debt of gratitude to those who serve in the nursing profession. We know that there are so many challenges that our nurses face. We sincerely hope that this grant helps the Georgia Nurses Foundation serve our nursing heroes.
Matt: And it certainly will. We can’t thank Homes for Heroes enough for your generous contribution. You know, nurses have gone through a lot the past couple of years, and any way we can help them out is a positive. So whether it’s scholarships or our peer assistance program or other programs that we offer under the Nurses Foundation, it’s greatly appreciated.
Jay: Awesome. So let’s take just a minute and let’s talk a bit more about the Georgia Nurses Foundation, the Georgia Nurses Association and what you guys are doing to support nurses. Let’s talk specifically about the foundation. So when was it founded and what inspired the founders to create it?
Matt: It was founded in 1980, and the founders wanted to provide an avenue or a way to give back to nurses, whether that be scholarships or research funding. So they created the foundation, and it’s been a great success ever since.
Jay: That’s awesome.
Sophia: That’s amazing. I had the chance at the golf tournament to ride around with Miss Wanda. She got to tell me a lot of good things that Georgia Nurses Foundation provides to the nursing community. Do you mind sharing a little bit about that?
Matt: We provide nursing school scholarships to students, which are very helpful. We do that annually, and we have about six different scholarships that we offer. That’s what the Nurses Foundation is most known for. But also very important is our peer assistance program that is housed under our Georgia Nurses Foundation. This is a program that helps nurses suffering from substance abuse and it helps them get back on their feet.
Nurses are referred by the Georgia Board of Nursing, and the program lasts for about five years. They go into our program and they are drug tested twice a month. They meet weekly with peer groups that are led by nurses themselves.
We’ve had some great, great feedback. We actually go to a conference every year of national programs that have similar programs. We have a very high return on investment. We have a 95% success rate. It’s a five year program that’s very intense. You have to check in every day.
But this program has literally saved lives. We couldn’t be more happy with it. That’s under our foundation as well. So we’re very happy with that as well. We can honor nurses in our newsletter as well. So we’re very proud of some of those programs.
Sophia: That’s so great. Do you mind sharing any stories about how the Georgia Nurses Foundation has helped the nursing community?
Matt: When I first started, we got a letter that was sent to us from a nurse who, back in the late eighties, had gone through our peer assistance program. She wrote this letter in what’s called The Georgia Nursing, which is our publication. It goes to about 75,000 nurses. She talked about how the program had been instrumental in getting her back on her feet and back to practicing and helping patients.
And the letter I received that day was reiterating the fact that this program had literally saved her life and that she had been practicing for the last 30 years. She had been clean and sober, and she had been helping patients for the last 30 years as a nurse. So that was very, very rewarding. It was because of our program.
You can’t beat stories like that and letters like that and feedback like that. It’s why we’re here.
Jay: You can’t place a value on a story like. Right? I mean, it’s really priceless. So how is the Homes for Heroes Foundation grant going to help further Georgia Nurses Foundation’s mission and support of the nursing community?
Matt: Well, it’s going to be helping nurses. These are tough financial times for a lot of people. And the nurses are included in that. Interest rates are going up and it’s harder to buy homes, and it’s harder to get the financing. It’s harder to get a mortgage. So this is certainly going to help.
We couldn’t be happier to be a part of the program that nurses will value and take advantage of. It’s a great partnership and collaboration with Homes for Heroes. We’re very excited about it. I’m sure what Homes for Heroes does is incredibly valuable and we are very grateful.
It’s something to really be proud of.
Sophia: I personally love how the Georgia Nurses Association and the foundation are so intertwined, and we are able to do so many things in the nursing community. I was wondering if you would mind sharing what you feel will be the future impact from this partnership with the GNA members and Homes for Heroes Foundation with our Circle of Giving programs.
Matt: Yeah, it’s an incredible program. We’re helping our members out, obviously, under the program, but we’re also helping all frontline workers and those who were invaluable during the pandemic. We couldn’t be more happy and more proud of that. It’s things like this that really make you value your job.
You’re showing up for work every day to make a difference in these people’s lives. And I think it will help out financially and that’s why we’re here. I’m really looking forward to, and am grateful, for the partnership. It’s really going to make a big impact, not only for nurses but other professionals who help our communities out so much.
So I’m very happy and thankful.
Jay: Well, Matt, that’s just amazing. Your foundation is a wonderful group that is supporting our nurses in need. And everything that you and the foundation are doing is truly making a difference in the lives of nurses across the state of Georgia, and it’s helping other heroes across the nation.
Matt: Yes, thank you. We are very appreciative and grateful. Thank you.
Jay: All right. Obviously you guys are a foundation, Matt, so tell us how our audience can get involved in supporting your mission. Where can they go to learn more about the Georgia Nurses Foundation.
You can go to Georgia Nurses Foundation. That is our Website. You can see all our programs and take advantage of those. You can donate directly from our website. We’d love to have you take a look. And if you are inclined to help out the nurses in the state of Georgia, that’s where to go.
We’d be very appreciative. Any support or help anyone can provide is greatly, greatly appreciated. The money goes to help strengthen our nurses in the state of Georgia and help provide them with good quality resources and programs.
Jay: Sophia, any other thoughts?
Sophia: No. I just wanted to say thank you so much for joining us today. Our nurses are, in my own personal life, my heroes. I went through a traumatic life or death situation a couple of years ago, and it was really my nurses who took good care of me and got me back on my feet to where I am today.
I am eternally grateful and I’m so excited for this partnership. This is a way we can give back money to our local nurses here in Georgia.
Matt: Yes, thank you. Thank you, Sophia. Thank you Jay.
Jay: Thank you guys for taking a few minutes to join me today. And thank you for everything that you and the Georgia Nurses Association and the foundation are doing to support families there in the state of Georgia. To our audience, thank you guys for taking some time to join us and hear more about the great work of the Georgia Nurses Foundation.
An easy way to show your support is to give this video a like, leave us a comment or, more importantly, give us a share. Make sure you tune in to future episodes to learn more about the meaningful non-profits that the Homes for Heroes Foundation partners with to help support our heroes in dire need. And until next time, take a moment today to say thank you to a hero.
Have a good day, everybody. All right. Thank you.
Homes for Heroes Foundation
Grants from the Homes for Heroes Foundation are made possible by the Homes for Heroes Circle of Giving and its network of real estate professionals who are committed to providing savings on home and mortgage buy, sell and refinance transactions for firefighters, EMS, law enforcement, military (active, reserves and veterans), healthcare professionals and teachers.
Please take a moment to learn more about the Homes for Heroes Foundation and the grants it provides nonprofit organizations who help heroes in need, or simply to make a donation.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Homes for Heroes YouTube channel to learn more about the savings available to community heroes through Homes for Heroes.