'Caregiver Incentive Project' kicks off November fundraising

Published: Oct. 22, 2019 at 10:05 PM EDT
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Local non-profit 'Caregiver Incentive Project' kicked off its November fundraising efforts at Marquette's Ore Dock Brewing Company on Tuesday.

The goal - $1,000 by December 3.

And according to Eric Paad, founder and president of Caregiver Incentive Project, they're already nearly halfway there.

"That thousand dollars is going to go directly to our program to start a training program. We've got scholarships for students that want to be caregivers, so we're going to use that money to possibly start that first scholarship," says Paad. "With the other donations we've collected a little bit and all that money will go directly to scholarships or stipends."

The scholarships and stipends are crucial to helping to stop an increasing need for caregivers in the country.

Paad says by 2026, the U.S. will likely be 8 million caregivers short.

"That's one of the troubles right there, because the ones that want to do it for their heart also have to feed their family, they have to go home and pay their bills, and with the pay right now, they can't," says Paad.

Besides pay, training is crucial for caregivers.

"Training is definitely critical because even though every person that you care for is different, there's a lot of things that could be standardized such as changing a bedpan, learning how to transfer someone out of bed," says caregiver Ellen Rapp.

"I've seen it first hand, just people that come in and they're not qualified to do the job," Rapp says.

In addition to raising funds, the project hopes to continue recruiting volunteers, before heading to state legislators to ask for support.

"We know the fix because we feel it. I feel it every day, my wife feels it every day because we are caregivers, and so we know just because we live it but we need the enablers at the top that have the ability to change laws," says Paad. "Have the ability to change budgets we're gonna need their help not too far down the road."

Paad says the most important thing the charity needs at this time is funds, but volunteers to help with the grassroots movement are important too.

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