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QUILTS BRING COMFORT TO VETERANS

by Tricia Degan
Fri, Jul 15th 2011 01:00 pm
Niagara Hospice Volunteer Services Director, Alice Beck, (left) accepts handmade veteran quilt donations from Kenan House Director Susan Przybyl and Gretchen Lang (right) of the Kenan Quilters.
Niagara Hospice Volunteer Services Director, Alice Beck, (left) accepts handmade veteran quilt donations from Kenan House Director Susan Przybyl and Gretchen Lang (right) of the Kenan Quilters.

The comfort of a quilt can not only keep us warm, but it may also bring back fond memories of days gone by, or admiring thoughts of the person who crafted it for us. We know someone put many hours into sewing it for us and can appreciate their gifted skills. Niagara Hospice is fortunate to have gifted volunteers who craft quilts for hospice patients. Each patient receiving Niagara Hospice services receives a comfort tote that includes several items including a notebook and pen for journaling, assorted teas, a pill box, and a cuddly stuffed animal. But the highlight of the tote is the comfort quilt. For patients who are veterans, their quilt has a patriotic theme and they also receive a plaque of appreciation from Niagara Hospice for their service. The plaque includes the logo from their branch of service and the We Honor Veterans logo.

According to Hospice Marketing & Public Relations Director, Tricia Degan, We Honor Veterans is a project of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It is a pioneering program focused on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgment. By recognizing the unique needs of veterans, community providers like Niagara Hospice, in partnership with VA staff, help guide America's veterans and their families through their life stories toward a more peaceful ending.

Niagara Hospice has established a partnership with the Veteran's Administration in Buffalo to ensure quality end-of-life care is available to all Niagara County veterans. Goals of the partnership include educating veterans and the community about the hospice benefit that every veteran is entitled to; customizing hospice care plans specific to the special needs of veterans; and recruiting community veterans to serve as hospice volunteers who are paired with Niagara Hospice patients who are also veterans. Additional volunteers are also needed to help construct comfort quilts. Contact Niagara Hospice Volunteer Services Director Alice Beck at 280-0748 for information and to apply. For more information about Hospice, visit www.NiagaraHospice.org or call 439-4417.

Niagara Hospice has provided end-of-life comfort, care and support since 1988 to over 16,000 Niagara County individuals and families faced with terminal illness. No one is ever denied hospice care due to ability to pay. For more information, visit NiagaraHospice.org or call Hospice at 716-439-4417.

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