As we approach the holidays and the end of a challenging year, I think you’d agree that 2020 has not turned out the way many of us expected. Despite our challenges, we still have the opportunity to express gratitude during this season of giving.
I’ve had the privilege of serving as a chaplain, volunteer and fundraiser at Hosparus Health these past 31 years. As I celebrated my last day at this compassionate not-for-profit organization September 30, I began to reflect on my hospice ministry.
At Hosparus Health, every life is important. We care for people of all ages in 27 Kentucky counties and 14 Southern Indiana counties. We are here for the sick, the dying and the grieving, day and night. Both of my parents (Elmer & Rita) had hospice care, as well as my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. When people would ask my Dad why he kept visiting my Mom, who had long-term Alzheimer’s disease, he said it so powerfully: “She might not know who I am, but I know who she is.” Hospice allowed him, and the rest of our family, to be with her right up until the end.
One thing I’ve learned over three decades with Hosparus Health is to always possess an attitude of gratitude. Here are just a few testaments to that motto:
- When I first started at Hosparus Health, volunteer Ivis Record told me: “It’s inconceivable that anyone could be grateful and unhappy. I thank the Lord for each event of yesterday and notice the effect this has had on me.”
- I once heard one of our nurses say, “We love what we do! We’re the ones who are running in while everybody else doesn’t know what to do.”
I was struck by her words, and her joy and compassion when she said them.
- A patient shared, “With the things I call unpleasant and undesirable, I search for the good and find reason to be grateful for them too.”
- And a donor proudly proclaimed, “The only people you should ever want to get even with are those who have helped you. And I want to get even with you and show my gratitude by becoming a monthly donor and leaving Hosparus Health in my will.”
I ask for your help in preserving this 42-year-old nonprofit so that no one in our community has to navigate serious illness alone.
Amid government cutbacks, more folks facing the challenges of serious illness, and new threats like the COVID-19 virus, Hosparus Health’s legacy of compassion must continue. Our expert, compassionate care is needed now more than ever.
Although I am officially “retired” from Hosparus Health now, my ministry will continue as long as I am able, and even after I’m gone. My wife, Kathy, and I donate annually, give memorial gifts and have included a significant bequest to Hosparus Health in our will.
Remember that showing our gratitude is the secret ingredient to happiness. I hope Hosparus Health can count on your gift during this Season of Giving.