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Christmas cards benefit Hospice Care

Amanda Tust Of the Record staff

When Melanie Parks’s mother began to die eight years ago in Seattle, a Hospice Care provider phoned Parks in Park City to offer grief counseling. Hospice supplied her mother with an adjustable bed and wheelchair and home nursing care so her father could leave the house. When her mom became too weak to receive at-home care, Hospice helped the family with nursing home arrangements, and after her mom died, Hospice continued to counsel the family and helped them organize funeral services.

Years later, Parks had a close friend diagnosed with cancer. Her friend, who was in her 50s, had health insurance that did not cover the cost of pain medications, and she was not old enough to qualify for Medicare or Social Security benefits.

Parks said Community Nursing Services Hospice Care stepped in and administered a daily morphine pump to her friend to help ease her pain before she died. To show her gratitude to an organization that helped her mother and friend in their last days, Parks began organizing a yearly Christmas card fund-raiser for Community Nursing Services Hospice Care. Community Nursing Services, a not-for-profit Hospice organization that served 70 adults and children in Summit and Wasatch counties last year, aims to alleviate the physical and emotional suffering of patients with incurable illnesses regardless of insurance coverage. "I want to continue to always give back to Hospice," Parks said. This year the Christmas card fund-raiser organized by Parks, part of the ‘Heart of the Community Project’ she founded in 2000, offers three card options. The cards cost $15 for a pack of 10, or approximately $1.60 per card, with discounts offered for large orders. Utah artists Robert McFarland, Robert Duncan and Suzanne Rodriguez donated this year’s artwork for the cards. The artwork includes a mountain landscape, a snow-covered tree scene and a little boy with farm animals and a snowman. The inside of the cards read "Peace, joy and harmony to you," "May the spirit of this holiday season be with you always" and "May you bring joy to those around you this holiday season." Parks said corporations can order personalized card greetings with an inscribed company logo. This year, Parks’s business Blooming Property Management and Lodging, American Skiing Company and a dentist in Provo purchased the cards for their employees. "My hope is that I get more corporations within Park City wanting to order more Christmas cards next year or this year to support CNS," Parks said. Beth Ehrhardt, director of development for Community Nursing Services, said last year the Christmas card sale raised $5,650 for Community Nursing Services programs in Park City and Heber. "It’s just a wonderful way for some people in the community to give back, and we really appreciate their support," Ehrhardt said. Ehrhardt said Community Nursing Services has 11 employees and six volunteers in Summit and Wasatch counties. She said the Community Nursing Services team consists of nurses, social workers, therapists, volunteers and chaplins. Ehrhardt said a portion of the funds donated from the Heart of the Community fund-raiser will pay for hand molds organized through the Community Nursing Services Kaleidoscope Kids program. She said the hand molds are created as a lasting memory to the family members of a dying child. Ehrhardt said the majority of the donated funds will support those services not covered by insurance plans. This includes patient and family grief counseling, medications or supplies. For more information about the Heart of the Community Project and purchasing Christmas cards call Connie at 649-6583 or email ConnieFor more information about the Community Nursing Services Hospice Program call (801) 223-6100, (800) 486-2186 or visit http://www.cnsvna.org.


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