Message From The Clare Executive Director Kyle Exline: Positivity and Gratitude

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As we approach the holiday season, I find myself feeling a sense of relief that 2020 is almost over! Between COVID-19, social unrest and an election cycle, it seems like constant negativity in the air. As I reflect on the year, I want to share some positivity and gratitude with you.

Our Employees

When COVID-19 came into our lives, our employees never once wavered. They showed up each day ready to work and help however they could. The persistence of our employees is inspiring, and I am extremely grateful to them. A few highlights of their perseverance include:

– Employees sorting mail every day for four months as USPS declined to enter our building.

– The Dining Services team converting three fully operational restaurants into delivery service, complete with a mobile bar cart.

– The Resident Experience team transforming our robust calendar of in-person activities into very popular Zoom programing.

– Our Security and Front Desk team standing tall to protect our building during a night of civil unrest.

– Our nurses and CNAs, who are true heroes, keeping our residents safe.

– Employees enduring weekly COVID tests and the constant ups and downs of closings, reopenings and service changes, never knowing what they might encounter at work each day.

Our Residents

Since the onset of COVID-19, our residents have been eager to help. They always want to be part of the solution, and this year, they stepped up in very significant ways:

– Through The Clare Foundation, residents raised $108,000 for our employees, which The Clare then matched. The funds were used as a bonus for employees to support them and acknowledge their extraordinary efforts.

– The Foundation also initiated a new program to provide $300 to employees who need laptops, as their children have been faced with the challenges of virtual schooling.

– Residents have distributed countless positive notes, uplifting comments and overall good spirits that help us all to smile behind our masks.

– Residents’ willingness to support mask-wearing and other restrictions has promoted overall health and safety at The Clare.

Our Future

In a normal year, many of us look forward to a lavish vacation or a relatively meaningless object we have set our sights on. In turn, we take for granted the little things that actually tend to be very important parts of your life. Here is what I am looking forward to when we return to some semblance of normal:

– Thursday Happy Hour at The Clare – One of my favorite things to do is walk around and chat with residents as they enjoy a drink.

– The Clare Art Gallery Receptions – Seeing our residents’ artwork is truly inspiring. The Gallery has also transformed the 19th-floor hallways into one of the best spots in all of The Clare.

– All Staff Lunches – Once a month, we would host a free lunch for all employees, filled with lots of laughs and good will.

– Small-Scale Problems – Last but not least, I look forward to worrying about things that, in the grand scheme, don’t matter much at all!

I am very optimistic about what’s ahead for The Clare. We are prepared for anything that comes our way. Despite the hardships of this year, it’s nice to reflect on the positive moments, and I hope this encourages you to do the same. The holidays ahead are going to be different, but let’s continue to spread cheer, share joy and smile behind our masks.