Cape Fear Valley Hospice – Fayetteville, N.C.
“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.”
-Charles M. Schulz
In November, Janet Lawson, MSW at Cape Fear Valley Hospice in Fayetteville, N.C., asked Julie Wilkinson, her executive director, if they had ever adopted a family at Christmas time. Janet told her team about the daughter of one of their patients. She had lost her job and was struggling to care for her five children under the age of 17 (one of whom was a special needs child), and to provide 24/7 care for her mother, who was in declining health.
The response from the hospice and home health teams in Fayetteville was overwhelming. They were able to donate an entire Christmas for this family – including a turkey procured by Tina Barron, MSW!
The family knew nothing of these plans. Janet would listen during her visits for gift ideas for each child, the patient’s daughter, and even her spouse. Sharon Mathis, team leader, made a very special wreath for the patient comprised of the children’s hand prints for leaves and the patient’s thumbprints as red berries.
Sadly, the patient passed away in her sleep during the first week of December. But Janet still diligently gathered and wrapped all of the gifts (two full car loads) and delivered them to the family on Christmas Eve.
Thanks to Janet for seeing a need and reaching out to her team for help. And thanks to Sharon, Tina, and the Cape Fear Valley Hospice and Home Health teams for stepping up to help this family during a very difficult Christmas season. You are all our Hospice Heroes!