August and September brought several strong hurricanes to the U.S., leaving paths of destruction across multiple states and territories. The scope of these natural disasters was overwhelming. Yet hospice and palliative care professionals continued to care for patients and families despite flooding, blocked roads, power outages, property damage, and even personal loss.
Larry Farrow, Executive Director of the Texas & New Mexico Hospice Organization, reached out to the hospices that were in the path of the Hurricane Harvey after the storm made landfall. While most hospices were able to cover the majority of their losses with insurance, the same couldn’t be said for many staff members. Requests for assistance quickly exceeded the available resources.
Paul Ledford, Executive Director of the Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, told a similar story. They received about 250 requests for financial assistance from staff members of hospice organizations who lived in the path of Hurricane Irma and were struggling to rebuild.
With the support of generous donors, the National Hospice Foundation stepped in to meet those needs through the Disaster Relief Fund. This fund was specifically established to aid the hospice community when disaster overwhelms regularly-available resources. In collaboration with the Texas & New Mexico Hospice Organization as well as the Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, NHF contributed $33,000 to hospices and staff members in areas affected by the hurricanes.
NHF received an outpouring of support from partners, members and donors to aid the hurricane recovery efforts. OnePoint Patient Care generously offered to match the donations made by their employees and partners in Florida. With this match, OnePoint Patient Care brought in over $2,000 to assist hospice staff in Texas and Florida.
“OnePoint Patient Care was fortunate to work closely with our long-time partners at National Hospice Foundation to provide aid to hospice communities affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Through NHF’s outreach and OnePoint employee generosity, we were able to help many dedicated hospice workers continue caring for their patients during a very challenging time,” said Marketing Director Charlie Otterbeck.
In September, Care Dimensions staff in their Danvers headquarters held a special Jeans Day fundraiser to benefit hurricane victims in Texas, Louisiana and Florida. Office Manager Michele Arnone said, “Our staff wanted to do what they could to help people who experienced such unimaginable devastation. We hope our efforts will assist those in need.”
In total, NHF received over $33,000 from donors to support hurricane recovery efforts, and donations are still coming in.
“We are incredibly grateful for the support we’ve gotten from individuals and organizations for the Disaster Relief Fund,” said Sarah Meltzer, Vice President of Access and Philanthropy for NHF. “When it comes to rebuilding after a disaster, every little bit counts.”
Thank you to the many donors who gave to the Disaster Relief Fund, especially:
• Abbey Hospice
• Amity Hospice
• Care Dimensions
• Center for Hospice Care
• Hospice & Community Care
• Hospice and Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge
• Hospice Cleveland
• OnePoint Patient Care
Donations to the NHF Disaster Relief Fund may be made online via the NHF website.