Hospice Scrapbooking Program Takes Off
(Florence, OR)— For Donna Becker, Peace Harbor Hospice volunteer coordinator and social worker, offering compassion to hospice patients and their families is a primary focus. When she heard the idea about completing military scrapbooks through the We Honor Veterans program, she knew that was something she wanted to offer locally to veterans receiving Peace Harbor Hospice care.
Becker wrote and received a grant in 2013 from Western Lane Community Foundation to support the scrapbooking project for the We Honor Veterans program. In that program, a volunteer collected stories, photos and memories from the Hospice veteran and family members and created a scrapbook, based on the veteran’s years of service to the country.
“It is a wonderful program and is so well received,” Becker said. “Unfortunately, my scrapbooking volunteer moved out of the area.” Not one to be easily defeated, Becker put up a Help Wanted Sign for scrapbook volunteers around town. One sign went to Rosie’s Art Carnival, an arts and crafts supply store located in Florence.
Pauline Orozco, a member of a scrapbooking group that meets at Rosie’s, answered the call. When the two met, Orozco was enthusiastic about the We Honor Veterans scrapbooks but asked Becker why scrapbooks couldn’t be done for any hospice patient who wanted to participate.
“It was primarily an issue of funding,” Becker explained. “Our funding from the grant was specific to the We Honor Veterans program. But Pauline wasn’t put off by that.”
Pauline and Rosie’s Art Carnival owner Rosie Hill, worked together to figure out a funding plan. The two decided that the fees collected from Creative Card classes offered at the shop would be dedicated to buying supplies and materials to create scrapbooks for any hospice patient that wanted to participate.
“It was amazing,” Becker reported. “The scrapbooking volunteers, led by Pauline, got together for their first scrapbook project for one of our patients. The 20-page scrapbook was a beautiful recollection of her life.”
Two of the volunteers, Orozco and Sharry Fitzgerald, accompanied Becker to present the scrapbook to the family of Jo Sawyer-Soll, who passed away in February after a short battle with cancer. Her husband, William Soll and one of her five children, Vonda Fauth, were on hand to receive the book.
“Pauline and Sharry sat with the family and talked about each page and how they got to know Jo through the scrapbook work,” Becker said. “There were a lot of tears and lots of laughter. It was really a beautiful gift for the family.”
While the card class is helping support the project, Becker expects that it will become one of the popular pieces of family support that Peace Harbor Hospice offers. If anyone in the community would like to donate to support the scrapbook program for the general Hospice population, through either materials or monetary support, contact Becker at the Peace Harbor Hospice office, 541-997-3418.
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