Give Back NH: Hospice Help Foundation
Give Back New Hampshire is a bi-weekly segment that spotlights New Hampshire nonprofit organizations. It airs every other Monday during Morning Edition.
You can nominate a local nonprofit for Give Back NH by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marsha Filion (Executive Director): We've helped children who are as young as 18 months. We've helped people who are over 100 and and I mean literally everyone in between.
Hospice Help Foundation provides support for hospice patients who are struggling to make ends meet. We boost the comfort and dignity of patients by funding essential comforts that we would normally take for granted. But that include things like rent and heating food for patients who are unable to buy nourishing meals, transportation to keep loved ones together during a critical time and modest last wishes, like a meal from a favorite restaurant.
Julia Stone (Board Member & Volunteer) : We believe that it is the right thing to do to provide the support to hospice patients so they don't have that extra layer of worry at end of life.
My name is Julie Stone and I am the Director of Business Development and Strategy for Home Health and Hospice Care in Merrimack, New Hampshire. Today, I'm here representing the Hospice Health Foundation as a board member and a volunteer.
The social workers at Home Health and Hospice Care now have access to this rich resource in the Hospice Help Foundation. So when they're working with patients and their families who are struggling financially at their end of life, they know that they have a support in the community.
Being thoughtful about your mortality is one of the best ways to really hone in on what matters, and helps you live your life to the fullest. Because otherwise, we're on autopilot.Marsha Filion
The application process is fairly simple. It's a one page form. It's submitted to the Hospice Health Foundation for review. And because these needs are typically urgent, these people's lives have limited time and their needs requests are urgent. They're paying for food sometimes. Sometimes we're paying for shelter or utilities not to be turned off. So what we do is really honor that urgency and respond in a timely manner. And often times those awards to patients and their families go out within 24 to 48 hours.
Filion: So this May I got a chance to meet Melissa. She was in her forties, same age as me. She was going to die soon. And her last wish was that she just wanted to be by the seaside. It was actually freezing cold. Melissa had already been in the water and had been surfing the waves, and she came back running from the waves and ran up to meet me with this huge smile on her face. And and she just said, 'I'm so appreciative that you've made this opportunity for me to sink my feet in the sand, to smell the salt in the air, and to be here at the ocean, which is where my heart is.'
We allow people to become people again, and to remember what they love about life, and to find joy despite all the obstacles and the challenges that they are facing.
If you'd like to help out—we could certainly use help. You could make a donation to Hospice Help Foundation and you can find that on our website at H Help Foundation dot org.
We also love people to get involved, especially if they want to spread the word about our work.
We have a Death Café coming up on Saturday the 17th. That starts at 9:30 a.m., and it's at the wonderful Carey Cottage in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
It's a chance for people to simply be in a supportive group to talk about death and dying and get whatever they want to say about it off their chest. You know, you might think, oh, my gosh, that is the last way I want to spend my Saturday morning. But being thoughtful about your mortality is one of the best ways to really hone in on what matters, and helps you live your life to the fullest. Because otherwise, we're on autopilot.