By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
An improvement grant from Home Depot brought the company’s Gainesville employees onto Home Hospice of Cooke County facility grounds Tuesday for a morning of donated improvement.
Depot employees mulched garden areas and built two retaining walls — all by use of volunteer labor and a $3,300 corporate grant.
Hospice executive director Sherry Little said more of the same funds will be used during an upcoming second phase where volunteers install plants.
“It takes money to run the organization,” Little said Tuesday. “And we are grateful for the support from the Gainesville community with projects like this that allow us to focus our resources on those patients and families who don’t have resources for their care.”
Rusty Strait, manager of the Gainesville Home Depot flooring department, said he volunteered for Tuesday’s project partially for personal reasons.
“Hospice came to the rescue for my father-in-law and my mother-in-law,” he said. “When our family wasn’t sure how to handle things, hospice came to support our family through it. When I heard that Home Depot was doing this project, I thought, ‘What a good way to give back.’”
More development of the facility grounds remains to come.
Little said that in the coming weeks, donors who contribute at least $500 to the Cooke County hospice organization will get their names engraved on bricks that will line the grounds near the backyard garden.
What patients need
Money is the most immediate practical resource that benefits hospice patients.
In February, Little explained that during 2012, the all-inclusive cost for hospice patient care in Cooke County was $172 per person, per day. Hospice care includes varying degrees of equipment, medications and emotional support both for clients and their families.
But the process may sometimes come more easily, and less expensively, when some patients seek it out earlier than they do.
“With hospice care, people utilize it as soon as they know they need it,” Little said Tuesday. “And it’s really hard to make that determination, for some people. But hospice can do so much more when we have a little more time.”
The Cooke County facility, based on Chestnut Street in Gainesville, currently treats about 20 patients, which Little said is average.
But the patient age range is broad; in addition to senior citizens, the facility also treats middle-aged patients and some who are younger than 18 years old.
“People think everyone is elderly who is in hospice care,” Little said. “we’re the only hospice organization in the area that provides pediatric services. And we feel very blessed to be able to take that journey with those children and their parents.”
The youngest patients, she said, suffer either from birth defects or serious diseases such as cancer.
“I think that’s something people either forget or don’t want to think about, that children can need hospice,” she said.
An upcoming fundraiser
Sponsorship and signup opportunities are still available for the 12th annual Home Hospice of Cooke County golf tournament. A shotgun start is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at Turtle Hill Golf Course in rural Muenster. Registration is still available beginning with a nominal $75 fee that includes fees, prizes, equipment and dinner.
Higher sponsorships for participants begin at $100 and extend to $1,000.
In February, Little explained, the fundraising goal for this year is an even $15,000 — up from the $12,000 of the 2012 tournament.
To register online, visit www.homehospice.org. Participants can also call (940) 668-8295.
For more information about Home Hospice of Cooke County, call (940) 665-9891.