What a joy it is for us to witness the power of divine Love year after year. Prominently displayed on the wall of many Christian Science branch churches is Mary Baker Eddy’s familiar statement, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.” This fact is demonstrated every day, week, month and year that Fern Lodge provides Christian Science nursing care to Christian Scientists.
Fern Lodge ended 2007 debt free and with adequate funds to continue offering Christian Science Nursing Services. Our 2007 operating expenses were $1,650,000. Our income was $800,000. Fern Lodge gave $850,000 in benevolence to patients needing financial assistance. This benevolence was possible because of the support from Christian Scientists, Christian Science Associations and Christian Science churches. The benevolence comes in gifts from a few dollars to very large amounts. The patients, the staff and the Board of Fern Lodge are grateful for every donation. Our love and appreciation go out to everyone of you.
This year we wish to express gratitude for a recent trend. With additional staff and some changes in procedure in our business office there is a new sense of expectancy that each dear patient will be able to pay for their care when the time comes. This attitude has borne fruit, and more patients now are able to pay for their care. This is a wonderful demonstration of God’s care for Fern Lodge. But we still accept many individuals who need substantial benevolence. Over the years up to 90% of our patients were unable to pay a significant portion of the cost of their care. At this time just 65% need financial assistance. Benevolence now comes to about $30,000 every month. Thank you for all you do to help us give the financial assistance needed by many deserving Christian Scientists.
We have another current and ongoing need. In addition to the strong support you give for our benevolence policy, we ask for your assistance with another major project. The article in this Focus by our Director of Christian Science Nursing tells of our need for housing for students in the Fern Lodge Nursing Education program. We plan to rent units in nearby apartments in Castro Valley for the students, and we will need to help the students during their first years in our program. It will cost about $4,000 each month to subsidize housing for six students