The quilt up inside B.J.’s Donuts for hospice awareness. (Max Winkelman - 100 Mile Free Press)

Hospice campaign going better than expected

‘We’ve been quite surprised with how many people have wanted to get involved’

The hospice awareness campaign has been going a lot better than they ever thought it would at the beginning of the month, according to Tracy Haddow, Executive Director of the 100 Mile District Hospice and Palliative Care Society.

“We’ve been quite surprised with how many people have wanted to get involved with us and some people have even come to us to say, you know, we want to support. So that’s been really encouraging.”

Haddow says that with restrictions having eased a little, it’s made people a little bit more willing to participate.

People becoming “friends of hospice” has been going a little slower, she says, adding that they’re asking people to sign up online. One of the places the friends of hospice forms are available is at B.J.’s Donuts.

“There’s a quilt that was made in 1997 by hospice volunteers and it was raffled off as a fundraiser. One of the ladies who is a hospice volunteer, currently, her husband won the quilt. So she’s brought it into B.J.’s and has it hanging up in the store so people can see it and there’s also friends applications forms there that people can pick up and fill out.”

Hospice has been serving the community for 35 years so it would be cool to have that little bit of history, says Haddow.

They’re also running a campaign to make sure people have acute care planning in place, something Haddow has some personal experience with.

“I actually had a mother in law that had a brain aneurysm and, of course, she never saw that one coming and she never regained consciousness but she was on a ventilator for months,” she says. “The family just didn’t know what to do or what to think and there were lots of struggles because different members of the family didn’t know and everybody wanted to do what was right but there was no information from my mother-in-law saying ‘should this happen, this is how I would like to see this go.’ So it was very stressful for a lot of people to walk through that journey. Having that in advance just makes that so much easier.”

With acute care planning in place, if you’re unable to speak for yourself, they know what you want and what’s important to you, says Haddow. So they’re not guessing and trying to figure it out and it takes the pressure off the family.

“It’s something that we all should do and in advance of ever needing it. So it’s something that really is intended for us to sit down and think about because in the middle of crisis we don’t think about those things. And, it’s actually a really wonderful gift to be able to give your family in advance of something that should arise unexpectedly and COVID I think has taught us that.”

Most people tend to procrastinate and put it off and think that when they get to a point, they’ll be able to tell but the reality is that they don’t, she says.

They are extending the end date for the campaign a bit because they still have things coming in.

This weekend the 108 Steakhouse & Bar is donating $1 from every pizza sold from their new pizza oven and there will be a Zumba fitness session by donation in the 108 Community Hall Parking Lot from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 6. They’re also still selling sunflower pots (through Cariboo Plant Ranch) which can be ordered from hospice directly, with $5 from each pot going to hospice. The Lac la Hache Bakery is still selling butterfly cookies on their behalf and Canadian 2 for 1 Pizza will donate $1 from every large cheese pizza sold on Sunday, May 31.

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