The funds from the Friends of Hospice SW Washington Christmas Box Program helps children and families in hospice or bereavement programs who need assistance, bringing a little cheer into their holiday season.
These funds are critical to so many during the holidays. Here are just a few of the ways the funds have been used.
- A mother of five children, who attended the Stepping Stones program, shared the following story:
Husband and father of five children, died suddenly of cardiac arrest. The mother was working three jobs trying to make ends meet. Christmas was upon the family and her 10-year-old son took upon himself to try and help his mother out. He put his bicycle, his prize position, on Craigslist to sell. His plan was to give the money to his mother to help with Christmas. The mother discovered what he had done when a father and son knocked on their door one evening to purchase the bike. When questioned, the boy confessed what he had done and why. The mother, who understood her son’s motive, declined to sell the bike. We were able to provide this family with a small Christmas tree, a gift of a warm coat for each child, a little something each child wanted and a Christmas dinner. We were able to provide a Christmas for this family that otherwise would not have happened.
- 70-year-old woman who living in a multi-generational household with several children and grandchildren. The holidays were very challenging. Due to her decline in health, several family members reduced their work hours to stay home to care for her. This loss of income for the household made it difficult for the family to pay for things beyond the essentials and the patient was struggling to not be able to afford ingredients for her special Christmas cookies. With the gift card other family members were able to purchase the needed ingredients and make the cookies with the patient’s instruction and guidance from her bed.
- 65-year-old recently diagnosed with cancer and unable to work due to his cancer symptoms. He could not get social security, unemployment did not work and disability was not available to him. Therefore, he had no income. It was difficult for him to eat due to multiple symptoms of his diagnosis. Family rallied as best they could to provide him meals. Boost was recommended to keep the calories up; however, cost prohibitive. Funds were provided to purchase enough to supplement is meals for an entire month.
- Funds were able to help a family struggling to pay the power bill over the holidays. Oxygen concentrators us a lot of electricity!
- Funds were used to purchase cats, three of them called “Joy for All” for hospice patients with dementia. These animals provide joy and comfort as they purr, move, and look true to life making a patient fell as if they have a friend.
- Paid part of a patient’s rent.
- Paid for transportation for a family member to visit their loved one who was in hospice.
- Purchased bedding, pajama’s and towels of a patient.
- Provided groceries for patients.
- Purchased super ears for patients who can’t hear. These are like magic! You should see the patient’s eyes brighten when they can actually hear.
The Christmas Box was available for donations during our in-person monthly meetings. Since we have been unable to gather, a way to donate to the Program has been made available through our website. Please click the button below and make a donation.