For 12 years Ann Wilson and a dedicated group of volunteers, comprised mostly of members of her family, have raised a quarter of a million dollars to support Houston Hospice Society by holding the Annual Hospice Yard Sale. This year and last the proceeds of the sale have been split with the Food Bank.
Thanks to this phenomenal effort Houston Hospice Society has been able to quietly carry out their good work.
The funds raised by Ann’s group have been used to provide education to hospice volunteers who are trained to provide support to patients and families during end-of-life care. Some of our volunteers have the 35 hours of recommended training for this work, and many others are at various stages in training. Some of those who have been fully trained have moved away or are simply no longer volunteering. This is not a disappointment to the Society, as this training is always going to be something the volunteer will use, wherever they are, if they are involved with the death of a family member, friend, or neighbour.
The Society has a large amount of equipment to lend so that palliative patients are able to be at home for as long as they choose when faced with a terminal illness. Many have caregivers who have been able to care for them at home until their death. During this time Houston Hospice Volunteers are able to provide support for the caregivers.
Houston Hospice also used part of these funds to furnish the respite/palliative unit at the Houston Health Centre. Health Centre staff say that the unit has been very busy since its opening with respite patients sometimes being put on a wait list. When a palliative patient is in the unit Hospice volunteers are again available to support the patient and the family.
Houston Hospice Society will certainly miss this dedicated fund-raising group and the people of Houston and the surrounding area will certainly miss the yard sale itself. There will not be many people who have not either donated to or purchased items from the yard sale. This yard sale was a service to the community.