Donor Impact Stories
The Gift of Healing from Loss
For over a decade, Sandi and Randy Gardner have been making annual donations to HopeHealth. “HopeHealth was there for our family when my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer,” Randy shares. Randy’s mother wanted to be cared for in familiar surroundings at home. “Although my mother would not outlive this terrible disease, HopeHealth made it feel so different.” Comfortable at home, she was surrounded by her children and grandchildren. “HopeHealth really helped us focus on Randy’s parents and to talk about what all of this meant to them,” remembers Sandi.
The Gardners have generously supported many programs and events at HopeHealth, but last year, HopeHealth Philanthropy Officer Kathleen Bentley shared a special initiative: HopeHealth’s Weekend
of Hope & Healing.
The Weekend of Hope & Healing was founded in 2015 at Camp Aldersgate in North Scituate, RI, as a welcoming and safe retreat for adults who have experienced a loss. Bereaved adults come together for an intensive weekend of workshops and lectures, healing therapies and creative outlets, walks in the woods or a quiet canoe on the lake. Yostena Makram first attended the camp after she lost her beloved sister.
Two years later, her other sister joined her when they lost their mother. “The camp and the campus give us a place and time to get in touch with our feelings, emotions, and mental state. When I step on the grounds and smell the fresh air, I immediately relax,” Yostena remembers. “The Weekend is so nourishing for those who are in a fragile mental state. You just have to be open and take advantage of what it can bring you.”
The Weekend of Hope & Healing is supported in part by philanthropic gifts, like the Gardners. “Our 50 participants pay a nominal fee for the entire weekend, including workshops, activities, meals, and lodging,” explains grief support manager Diane Lambert. She also shares that the Weekend is run entirely by expert workshop leaders who donate their services and by volunteers. “This is an intense experience for everyone, campers and volunteers alike. But we all leave feeling so connected, so supported. I learn something new about my work and myself every year.”
“You can donate to a lot of causes and never feel connected or that you really had an impact,” admit the Gardners. “This is not the case with HopeHealth. It is amazing to know that our gift helped a special group of people who needed healing. We are honored to be part of this process and make sure that HopeHealth can bring in the right staff and right support to everyone.”
A Gift from the Heart
Daniel was a young man in the Navy when he met a bright first-grade teacher who would change his life—his future wife Janice. The couple shared many happy memories and years of marriage before Daniel became ill. He required a great deal of medical care and support from their community. Janice and Daniel eventually made the decision to start Daniel on hospice services.
They knew that deciding what happened with their hard-earned assets had to be a team effort. With no children, Daniel’s number one priority was that Janice be taken care of for the remainder of her life. When the couple met with their estate attorney, they learned that they could also continue to support the people and organizations that they cared deeply about by naming them to receive a gift from their estate upon Janice's passing. One of those beneficiaries was HopeHealth. Janice left specific instructions that the funds were to be used for the benefit of hospice patients who need financial assistance to access care.
Thanks to Daniel and Janice, two caring people who thought about the lasting impact they could have on others, many patients and families will benefit.
Loss Leads to a Plan for the Future
For HopeHealth Board member Mark Tracy, loss has molded him into a man who is passionate about end-of-life care and grief support. His father died unexpectedly when he was just 9 years old. During his freshman year at Brown University, Tracy’s mother was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. “She was given five months to live,” he recalls. “We had a lot of conversations that were way beyond the maturity of my 19 years.” Tracy’s mother wanted to spend her final days at home. “Fortunately, there was a hospice center nearby. They helped me fulfill her wish to die peacefully at home.”
After graduate school, Tracy knew it was time to get more involved with organizations he believed in. “I’d never forgotten the care of my mother’s hospice team. HopeHealth felt like a natural place to start volunteering.” Joining the Board of Directors in 2012, and now serving as Secretary, Tracy has been impressed with the scope of HopeHealth’s care, particularly its support for those who are left behind. “HopeHealth’s grief support programs are transformational and all of them are supported by philanthropy so that they can be offered to
families in our community for free.”
Tracy was forced to consider death and loss at a much earlier age than most of his friends, which made it a natural next step to name HopeHealth as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. He knows this kind of lasting gift is unusual for a man in his 40s, but he feels strongly that “HopeHealth is changing the conversation about death. Leaving a planned gift to an organization that means a great deal to me feels like I am supporting those conversations. Just as I want to take care of my two children, I want to take care of HopeHealth for the next generation.”
As he looks toward the future, Tracy wants to be sure young people know how important HopeHealth is. “Most of my friends will soon be facing these conversations with their aging parents. I want to encourage them to give generously now, so that support is here for them when they need it.”
Naming HopeHealth in Your Will or Estate Plan is Easy to Do
Your estate attorney or financial advisor should name us as follows:
1085 N. Main Street
Providence, RI 02904
Our Federal Tax ID number is 51 - 0192422.
When considering your options, you should always consult with a qualified financial planner.
Other Ways to Leave a Legacy for HopeHealth Patients
Support HopeHealth through an IRA:
- Naming HopeHealth as a beneficiary of your IRA is a simple and easy way to make a charitable gift with your retirement funds when you can no longer utilize them; this avoids the high tax rate that family members could incur.
Support HopeHealth through a life insurance policy:
- Naming HopeHealth as a beneficiary or owner of a paid-up life insurance policy is another visionary way to show your appreciation through a gift to your favorite charity.
Both options allow you to transfer wealth outside of your estate and avoid probate, while freeing up other assets for your family.