Haven Hospice continues to provide compassionate hospice care during COVID-19, but volunteers are currently unable to visit patients in-person. To continue serving patients, families and Haven staff in an unusual time, Haven’s volunteers created a greeting card campaign.

Cards are being delivered to all of Haven’s patients in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and memory care units. They are also being sent to Haven’s patients receiving care in their homes. The cards include letters of encouragement, photos, quotes and drawings to bring a smile to patients’ faces in a time where many might feel isolated.

Haven’s Manager of Clinical Volunteer Services Susie Finfrock said that an overwhelming number of volunteers contacted her wanting to do something to make a difference. Realizing how limited visits were going to be during COVID-19, Susie sent out an email and 42 volunteers offered to assist with the card campaign. “Haven’s volunteers are dedicated to supporting staff, patients and families in any way they can,” said Susie. “Sometimes that means thinking outside the box to find a way to reach people. These amazing volunteers have such huge hearts and they are really missing volunteering, so I am glad we were able to coordinate a way for them to give back!”

Haven’s Office Services department also offered to help with supplies for the project, making cards, envelopes and ordering stamps in bulk. Many volunteers wanted some background information to personalize the notes; Haven’s Volunteer Services department is providing contact information for all new patients in real-time so that no one misses out on receiving cheer from Haven’s volunteers.

One Haven volunteer, Judy Newell, branched off of the project and wrote personalized notes to all of the night staff at Haven’s E.T. York Hospice Care Center. Prior to COVID-19 restrictions, Judy regularly visited the hospice care center at night as a member of Haven’s No One Dies Alone program, which provides a comforting presence to patients during their last hours of life.

“I found the perfect cards and wrote a long note to all of the staff, telling them how much they mean to me and how anxious I am to get back to helping them as a volunteer. I also gathered all of their favorite foods,” said Judy. “I know the hearts of these employees and I am not surprised at all that they continue to work through everything that is going on. They are the heart of Haven Hospice.”

If you or your organization are interested in providing cards for hospice and palliative care patients or Haven staff, please contact Susie Finfrock at sjfinfrock@havenhospice.org.

Volunteer Linda Stefanelli included drawings by her grandchildren in her notes to Haven patients.

Judy Newell chose to encourage Haven staff with personalized letters.