Hospice partners with local businesses to spread Hope, support ahead of holidays

·4 min read

With Halloween just in the rear-view mirror, attention will soon turn to the holiday season – and one local hospice is partnering with local businesses to not only support them through trying economic times but also help residents along their journey.

Hope House Community Hospice, which serves Aurora and King Township, has partnered with dozens of York Region businesses for a new initiative called Baskets of Hope.

Featuring a variety of local products, two Baskets of Hope are available to order: Fun & Pamper, as well as Food & Drink.

“In these uncertain times, Hope House wanted to help the local businesses that have so generously supported our programs and services for almost 40 years,” says Hope House Committee lead Laurie Calvert. “The businesses that participated are local or have a connection to a community member.”

Each have the opportunity to showcase their fabulous products – right in their own neighbourhood, says Hope House, with Ms. Calvert adding, “We’re so pleased to have such a great response and over 40 businesses have supported our efforts by offering their best price or by donating items.”

Baskets are now available to both order and pick up from Hope House, well in time for Christmas and the holidays.

100 per cent of the proceeds from each basket sale will go towards supporting Hope House programs, many of which have been influenced by the ongoing global pandemic, says Hope House Executive Director Heidi Bonner.

“I think they would make an amazing gift for the holidays and because not only is the person receiving them getting this fabulous basket of incredible goodies, they are supporting local suppliers and, of course, hospice,” she says. “There is a real variety of items in each of the different types of baskets.

“One of the areas of great need [for our hospice] during this pandemic is our grief and bereavement support programs. Because people are losing loved ones during these terrible times and many of them weren’t able to have funerals of any sort, it has really led to some difficult times for people. We have had quite an increase in referrals in our grief and bereavement groups and we’re actually going to be running a young adult bereavement group and a children’s group coming up as well. One of our greatest needs right now is support for our grief and bereavement for which we receive no funding.”

People seeking out Hope House services are still feeling the affects of the pandemic, particularly when it comes to loss, says Ms. Bonner. People are coming to Hope House months after a loss when they find they are having difficulty navigating “the journey through the grieving process.”

“We have run three Loss During COVID programs and those were specifically for individuals who have had a loved one die during COVID, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be because of COVID. We listen to the needs of our community and we’re able to create support programs specific to what the community needs [and that] is where those bereavement groups stem from.”

Additional programs that have been developed in response to community needs are wellness programs for individuals diagnosed with illnesses, their family caregivers, and those who are dealing with a death of a loved one. Focused on stress management, these programs include yoga, meditation, qi gong, and aromatherapy.

For more information on how to purchase a Basket of Hope, visit www.hopehousehospice.com/baskets-of-hope.

Participating businesses, services and individuals include Barrons Warehouse, Black Forest Nursery, Bridgedale, Canadian Natural & Specialty Brands, Canadian Tire – Newmarket, Coconut Village Spa, Cookie it Up!, Cottage & Crown, Cousins Market Nobleton, Craigleith “B” Honey, Doug Rankin Ent. Inc., Ernest Cider Co., For All Occasions, fraktals, Greco’s Fresh Markets, Healthy Planet Aurora, Hong Gao, Horton Tree Farm, Joy Rudyk, Leslie Hobson, Laurie Calvert, Linda Haarer, Lovely Nails by Lala, Lynnette Lanning, Marilyn Redvers Tennis Centre, Marina Brown, Market Brewing Company, Market Candle Company, Nature’s Emporium, Neal Brothers Foods, Northern Girl & Co., Oakridge’s Fashions, Pioneer Brand Honey, Pine Farms Orchard, Red Threat Brewing Co., Replenish General Store, RISE Market, Sandy Sheridan, Schomberg Foodland, Schomberg Quality Meats, Sew Perfect, Sheila Darnowski, TaLii Towels, Tall Blond Crafter, The Decadent Brittle, The Nut Shoppe, The Story of Love Boutique, Westview Golf Course, Winterdance Dogsled Tour, and Yonge Street Winery.

Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran

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