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In these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever that we work together towards a collective goal. No one understands this better than our volunteers who work tirelessly every day towards our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and all dementia.

Our mission would not be possible if not for the hard work and dedication of our volunteers who facilitate support groups, provide educational programs and resources in their communities, help plan events like the Walk to End Alzheimer’s® and The Longest Day® and so much more than I could possibly list. Despite the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our volunteers continue to work tirelessly to provide vital services and resources to our community. As we cannot celebrate our incredible volunteers in person, I hope you will join me and all of the National Capital Area Chapter staff in celebrating and thanking our volunteers virtually. 

Advocates like Sarah Harris, who has attended every Advocacy Forum for the last 22 years, work hard to cultivate relationships with their elected officials and advocate on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association for legislation to further Alzheimer’s and dementia research, provide higher quality care to those living with Alzheimer’s and their families. Advocates are currently engaging elected officials through social media and digital formats to advocate for relief for charities in the fourth stimulus package as well as the Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act and the Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act. 

Community Educators like Vincent Tung and Robert Dantzler are leaders in providing vital Alzheimer’s and dementia information and resources at the most local level, in their own communities. Community Educators are currently assisting programs staff in providing virtual, webinar education programs community members can take from the comfort and safety of their own homes. 

Support Group Facilitators, like Joan Sutton, create a safe, open environment where people share their feelings, thoughts and experience in a combined effort to better cope with and manage the shared problems of dementia. Now more than ever it is important for those living with Alzheimer’s, their loved ones and caregivers to have a safe space to connect and lean on one another. Our Support Group Facilitators have helped the Alzheimer’s Association move their groups to virtual formats to be able to provide support while maintaining safe social distance. 

Let’s not forget our Event Committee members like Sara Bach, co-chair for The Longest Day, who is helping participants to modify their events to be at a safe social distance, and still raise Alzheimer’s Awareness. Walk to End Alzheimer’s co-chairs like Karyn Brooks, Jane Derrick and Lynn Carpenter continue to work and plan for the days we will raise our promise garden flowers and walk together towards our collective goal of a world without Alzheimer’s.

These volunteers and many, many, more who lend their time and efforts to our cause make everything we do possible. In current times, their work is even more invaluable as they serve as pillars of support without whom we could not stand. Thank you to all of our volunteers for everything you do for the Alzheimer’s Association, your community and of course, your friends and families in these tough times. We’re here for you, and together we can end Alzheimer’s and all dementia. 

Kate Rooper
Chapter President and CEO
Alzheimer's Association National Capital Area Chapter