Budding memories and donations for hospice

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Beatrice Daily Sun | March 25, 2016

A tree in the Beatrice Community Hospital lobby sprouted new leaves this week.

Volunteers on Thursday and Friday collected “angel leaf” cards and hung them on a metal tree, the Hospice Tree of Life, as an annual fundraiser for the Beatrice Community Hospital Hospice Program.

“This money is not used for medications or salaries or anything like that,” said Sam Rennick, executive director of the Beatrice Community Hospital Foundation (BCHF). “It goes toward the little things that make a big difference in the lives of people using hospice services.”

Rennick and BCHF office manager Melinda Chleboun gave examples: a handicap rail, a lift chair, a window air conditioner unit, a bird feeder and Christmas gift shopping by BCH hospice staff on behalf of hospice patients are all sponsored by the fundraiser.

Rennick said on Friday it was projected that the fundraiser would bring in more than $6,000.

The hospice program provides services to patients and their families in Gage, Pawnee, Jefferson and Saline counties. Services include personal visits to patients, therapies, companionship, assistance with everyday needs, hospice chaplain visits, bereavement support for families for at least one year following the death of a loved one, and grief education classes held four times a year at BCH.

“Hospice makes the end of a person’s life as quality and as comfortable as possible,” Rennick said. “I think hospice is equally about helping an individual and a family come to grips with eventual death.”

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