Friends of Oswego County Hospice is celebrating their 20th year of supporting Oswego County Hospice and the Oswego community in 2014. As an organization, they were originally established to ensure that memorial contributions went directly back to Oswego County Hospice to support both the hospice program and the hospice patients and their families.
The main goal of Friends of Oswego County Hospice is to raise funds for patients who have difficulty paying for hospice care. Hospice provides medical assistance such as: home health aides, nurses, volunteers, prescriptions, etc. The Friends of Oswego County Hospice also helps to support families cover non-medical expenses that are essential such as heat, phones, and even lifeline. A second goal of this non-profit organization is to help with education and public awareness programs that support Oswego County Hospice. To do this, they rely on support from the community on many different levels.
“We have received incredible support from the community. From individuals, small businesses and even local corporations,” said Debbie Bishop, director. As a result, Friends of Oswego County Hospice uses all local vendors, businesses, and services in their organization for day-to-day needs and when they are planning functions and community events. “We want to give back to the people who are supportive of us,” said Bishop.
With this year being the 25th anniversary of Oswego County Hospice, and the 20th year for the Friends, a big year is planned for this organization. They just received a $25,000 grant from the Shineman Foundation to work with local marketing business Step One Creative to help make new materials for marketing and education on hospice services.
The 15th annual Hospice Cup Regatta and 5k walk/run takes place on June 7, 2014. The regatta is the largest individual fundraiser for the Friends of Oswego County Hospice. Each year, this fundraiser brings in about $25,000 and has helped the Friends to raise over $275,000 in the past 14 years.
This summer, Friends of Oswego County Hospice will host Camp Rainbow of Hope on August 18– 20 at Camp Hollis. This three-day retreat is for children ages 8-12 who have had loved ones in the hospice program and who have lost loved ones. It is a volunteer run program that is open to any child in Oswego County and it brings together children, teens and adults in a supportive environment. Camp Rainbow gets children to talk about their experiences in an open and supportive place, allows them to meet children who have had similar experiences, and have a fun camp experience.
If you wish to get involved with Friends of Oswego County Hospice, this organization is always looking for volunteers to help keep their programs going. Many volunteers work directly with patients and their families to help improve quality of life for the patients and give caregivers a break. They also work to help raise money for the organization to help support families of hospice patients, and help to organize and run fundraising events.