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“It was a reminder that we are not alone”

Families look forward to the holidays as a time to come together and build memories. But it can be a time of stress for families who have a loved one in hospice care or have recently experienced a loss.

“Preparing a large meal and hosting a gathering may be overwhelming for families whose loved one in nearing the end of life,” said Gina De La Cruz Turcotte, director of philanthropy and hospice liaison with Spartanburg Regional Foundation. “The holidays can be sad soon after a family member has passed away. So, we want to show these families special kindness and support.”

To help, Spartanburg Regional Foundation donors have funded Thanksgiving meals for the past 25 years. These meals are for current Spartanburg Regional Hospice patients and their families, as well as families who recently lost a loved one who received hospice care.

The tradition continues this year on Saturday, Nov. 23. Volunteers will deliver Thanksgiving meals, prepared by Wade’s Restaurant, that feed up to 12 people.

A donation of $55 helps to cover the cost of one of the meals.

Staci Ezell Roberts said her family was grateful to receive a holiday meal soon after her mother-in-law died.

“She was always the one who did the cooking when everyone was together for holiday meals, so we knew that our first holiday after her passing would be difficult,” Roberts said. “It was such a relief for us not to have to worry about who would handle the cooking. It was also a reminder that we were not alone – that people in our community care about families dealing with sadness, stress and loss.”

In 2018, more than 200 meals were delivered to families in our community.

The meals program is one of the many ways donors of the Foundation support hospice families. The Hospice Special Needs Fund provides direct assistance for patients facing financial hardship, funds birthday celebrations and other special occasions that build memories, and supports bereavement programs to help families coping with grief.

“The Spartanburg Regional Hospice team provides outstanding care for patients nearing the end of life,” Turcotte said. “And donors to the Hospice Special Needs Fund enable caregivers to really go the extra mile for patients and their families – and that includes the holiday meals program. We know that donations will make a difference for families this year at Thanksgiving.”

Make an online donation to help provide a Thanksgiving meal for a hospice family or learn more.