Helping hands make special gifts for hospice patients

A gift of caring goes a long way for someone with a serious illness, said Homewood’s Christine Rechsteiner, volunteer coordinators with Journey Care. 
H-F High sophomore Faith Lee of Flossmoor put a happy message on a green bag that will go to a patient in hospice care. (Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)
  H-F High sophomore Faith
  Lee of Flossmoor put a happy
  message on a green bag
  that will go to a patient in
  hospice care.
 
 (Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)

She has been coordinating volunteer efforts that have brought joy to hundreds of patients.

One volunteer group, Kids Care, is more than a dozen years old. It is one of several volunteer efforts under Journey Care, a not-for-profit organization that gives care to those in hospice or palliative care and pediatrics patients, Rechsteiner said.

Projects may be as simple as making a card, or one that requires more hands-on effort, such as creating a blanket. Rechsteiner said all the materials come in Care Kits. Often, volunteer organizations, such as Girl Scouts, will “pay it forward” by replenishing the supplies they’ve used so the kit is well stocked for the next volunteers.

Homewood-Flossmoor High School Key Club members are volunteers with Kids Care.  They have taken on traditional projects, such as making cards, but Rechsteiner said they recently came to the rescue to make certain all veterans on an Honor Flight to Washington got mail on their way home.

“With the Honor Flights, at the end the veterans have mail call where letters from families and friends are shared with them. There were a few late comers on the flight, so H-F students prepared the cards so everyone on the flight got mail,” she explained.

This month, H-F students were busy making simple mementos and decorating green bags.

“I joined because I like to help people,” said sophomore Faith Lee of Flossmoor, adding it gives her comfort to know that she did something for someone else. “Sometimes, it’s the little things we take for granted,” she said.

Journey Care is also looking for volunteers who can take an hour out of their week to visit someone, do vigil support, assist at a special event and in some cases do pet therapy.

Kids Care meets monthly at the Flossmoor Library. Rechsteiner is also willing to work with groups interested in service projects.

Journey Care also offers Braveheart, a program for children and teens ages 6 through 18 and their families who are offered grief counseling. The program is at Flossmoor Community Church. The next sessions are 6 p.m. April 11 and May 14.

For information on how to volunteer with Journey Care, contact Rechsteiner at [email protected].

 

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