Shop online and help Angela Hospice

For those that don't enjoy braving the malls on Black Friday, or the holiday season in general, shopping online is the way to go. You can stay in your PJs, drink as many cups of coffee as you want, and wear your favorite fuzzy slippers. While Cyber Monday is a great day to get some deals, Goodshop Sunday, on November 30, will not only get you some steals but let you give a little to your favorite charity – like Angela Hospice.

Goodshop Sunday is a day packed with exclusive savings and double donations at your favorite stores. Join the thousands of others who have already taken the Goodshop Sunday pledge to buy one gift that gives back with Goodshop this holiday season. And be sure to share it on your social media platforms.

After Goodshop Sunday don't put away your wallet too quickly. Visit Amazon Smile and support Angela Hospice there too. If you visit smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2755767 0.5% of your purchase will be donated to Angela Hospice. Angela Hospice is one of almost a million charities on Amazon Smile so if you don't see us featured be sure to type us into the search bar. Then go crazy buying all the latest Frozen toys, movies, and other hot ticket items this year. Just remember the more you spend the more you help out Angela Hospice. It’s a big win for everyone!

Give on #GivingTuesday

Thanksgiving is a day to spend with family, give thanks, and eat too much turkey. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about getting the best deal for your buck. The following Tuesday, December 2, aka #GivingTuesday, may not have pumpkin pie or a free DVD but it will put you in the giving mood. And isn't that what the holiday season is really all about?

The global day of giving was founded in 2012 by New York's 92nd Street Y, a cultural, educational, and community center that serves people of all ages, races, faiths, and backgrounds, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. #GivingTuesday was inspired by the core Jewish value of tikkun olam, which means, "repairing the world."

The team of influencers and founding partners, which includes CEOs and company presidents among others, has launched a movement that has engaged over 10,000 organizations worldwide.

“On the cusp of this gift-giving season, #GivingTuesday is such a refreshing reminder that the best gifts we give are those which cannot be repaid,” said Bob Alexander, Angela Hospice’s business development manager.

#GivingTuesday brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners - charities, families, businesses, and individuals - to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season. The day also uses the power of social media (note the hashtag) to create a global movement around the holidays that is dedicated to giving around the world.

There are a variety of ways to give. Give a boost to a friend in need or give a hand to someone you love. Give your time. Give some money to your favorite charity. Write a wonderful review about the work one of the #GivingTuesday organizations is doing. It doesn't matter how you give on #GivingTuesday, the important part is that you just do.

You can also take an #UNselfie. You get to take a picture of yourself but this time it's for a good cause. Win-win, right?

Just download and print our #UNselfie flyer, fill it out, and then take an #UNselfie. After you're done upload it to Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. Then be sure to tag Angela Hospice and use the hashtags, #UNselfie and #GivingTuesday. Let us know why you are supporting Angela Hospice on #GivingTuesday. Turn it into a group activity at your holiday events by having your friends and family take pictures of each other. Upload them inbetween bites of pie. Inspire everyone to participate in #GivingTuesday.

“At Angela Hospice, we hope the #GivingTuesday movement will inspire people to take action to improve their local communities, give back to the charities and causes they celebrate, and help create a better world,” said Lisa Norton, Angela Hospice’s public relations coordinator.

Another way to help out the #GivingTuesday movement, and Angela Hospice, would be by donating to this year's Tree of Life event, which will take place through Christmas Eve at Laurel Park Place and Westland Mall. The event, which has been held annually since 1986, offers guests a unique way of honoring their loved ones, both living and deceased, in the form of an angel ornament bearing their name.

“Walking past these glorious trees each year, it is hard not to be deeply touched by the ornamental beauty of the decorations,” Alexander said. “But it’s the enduring love of those who thought to place the ornaments inscribed with names or people who have been so dearly remembered and cherished that truly shines.”

To participate in this holiday tradition, please fill out a form online at askforangela.com or visit a Tree of Life during mall hours to personally hang your ornaments. There is no specific donation amount required.

Learn more at givingtuesday.org, or visit askforangela.com. For more information, or to fill out an angel form by phone, contact the Development Office at (734) 464-7810.

Volunteer Spotlight: Vickie Krause

Name: Vickie Krause

How long have you been a volunteer?
Three years

What areas do you work in/what tasks do you do as a volunteer?
Patient and family care in the Care Center.

What made you decide to become a volunteer?
That's really interesting because until I became a volunteer I had no idea Angela Hospice existed or hospice existed. I retired rather unexpectedly from teaching and then found myself praying, "Now what do I do?" I kept saying, "Please use my talents." Doors just started opening and it led me here. It's just amazing. Absolutely amazing, and it is a wonderful fit. I am blessed beyond belief.

Why Angela Hospice?
I think that's one of the doors (that opened). I read the Observer periodically and for some reason I saw an ad or something about needing volunteers. So I called and one thing led to the other. I went through the classes and it was just absolutely amazing. My eyes were open. Wow.

What is your favorite part about volunteering? 
That's really tough. I think it's probably dual. I enjoy sitting with family members and just listening because some just need to talk. I also enjoy listening to the patients because they all have a story to tell. I'm just enthralled by listening to what they have to say.

What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering?
Well there's one that kind of stands out immediately. One of the patients celebrated a 100th birthday and I got to be part of that, and it was pretty special. That doesn't happen every day. That would probably be one of the standout moments.

I would say overall the thing that has just touched me is the people here. It's such a happy place. That surprised me. It surprises everyone else in public when you tell them about volunteering at hospice and they go, "Oh, I couldn't do that." It's a happy place and just the respect and dignity that's shown to the patients…it's awesome. Absolutely awesome.

A Home Away From Home

By: Dana Casadei, Angela Hospice volunteer

November for many is the month with Thanksgiving. For some, it's the month when it's finally time to put up their holiday decorations. But for the hospice community, November is a time to raise awareness.

Started in 1992, long after the first Thanksgiving, November became the National Hospice and Palliative Care month. The number of hospices in the United States has speedily grown since the first hospice was founded in 1974. That includes Livonia’s Angela Hospice, which was founded 11 years later in 1985.

In 2013 more than 1.5-million patients received services from one of 5,800 hospices nationwide. Angela Hospice served 1,760 of those patients.

While the numbers for 2014 haven't been totaled yet, Agnes Chor's husband John was one of this year's many patients that received care.

During his one month and three days in the Angela Hospice Care Center, Agnes spent nearly every night with him, making it a home away from home.

"I was grateful they would let me spend the night with him," she said. "I ate a lot of meals there."

She even brought her red slippers from their Livonia home and noted that she could do anything there that she could at home. That included watching movies and walking around the "absolutely beautiful" grounds she said.

Staying at the Care Center almost every night allowed Agnes to see what really happens behind the closed doors of Angela Hospice.

"They (the staff) were good to everybody," she said. "It wasn't because I was there that they were on their best behavior. They just did what came natural to them and they were excellent."

Sorry, no dirty secrets to be revealed here.

After taking care of her husband at home for five years John was moved into a home. Agnes said that he had been in three or four within a year and a half. She also said that Angela Hospice was the best of the group.

"It was like family was taking care of my husband," she said. "It was like they considered him their family. So it was their job to take care of him. I just thought it was fantastic. I loved it."

Being in such a warm environment surrounded by caring people also took some of the stress off of Agnes. She said that the nurses were so good at checking on their patients and that bed sores John had acquired previously were gone within weeks of arriving at the Care Center. She also said that the staff took just as good of care of her as her husband.

When asked what she may say to someone that had misconceptions about hospice care, Agnes simply said she would definitely recommend hospice.

“I would recommend Angela Hospice to anybody, everybody,” she said.

“The number one comment we receive from families is that they wish they had chosen hospice sooner,” said Mary Beth Moning, Interim President/CEO of Angela Hospice. “National Hospice and Palliative Care Month is a great time to spread awareness about all that hospice has to offer for patients and their families – the compassionate physical care, the supportive spiritual, emotional, and social work services; and the grief support available to families and the community.”

Wise Beyond Her Years

By: Bart Wingblad, Angela Hospice Volunteer

Aspiring medical student. Accomplished musician. Passionate and eloquent speaker. Tomorrow’s doctor. These are a few of the things that make Gopika Menon special. But perhaps, what makes her even more extraordinary is the heartfelt care she provides as an Angela Hospice volunteer.

Gopika has been a volunteer at Angela Hospice for just over two years. In that time she’s helped out at the Care Center assisting patients with meals, direct care, providing gentle companionship, listening to stories, and comforting those who are frightened, angry, confused, or suffering a broken heart.

When Gopika is not volunteering, in her free time she
plays the piano and violin, takes part in traditional
Indian dance, writes short stories and essays,
and spends time with family and friends. 
Mom – an architect for the State of Michigan, Dad – a hospital administrator with DMC, and her brother – a graphic designer, have all been very supportive of her, as well as being a constant source of inspiration toward the pursuit of her professional and personal goals.

Gopika’s motivation for becoming an Angela Hospice volunteer was the opportunity to experience exposure to different medical fields, along with becoming familiar with hospice.

“Patients deserve all the care available in the final stages of life, and Angela Hospice provides that,” she said.

Listening to Gopika share her thoughts on quality care, volunteering, and life in general, it immediately becomes apparent that this is a selfless young woman who possesses wisdom beyond her 21 years.

“I think more people should consider volunteering,” Gopika said. “You cannot apply a value towards the rewards we receive. The knowledge that you’ve afforded someone the confidence that they can count on you is reward in itself.”

When asked how her hospice experience has affected her life thus far Gopika said, “It’s had a huge impact in removing the cloud of judgment we all sometimes feel, to appreciate the presence of every moment, to let bad things go, to enjoy every moment, to appreciate this life, and all the real moments of life.”

Gopika wears a warm smile as she cares for and comforts patients. It’s through that smile that we also see her generous and giving heart. Compassion, courage, patience, humility, and empathy are just a few of Gopika’s qualities.

A few years ago, her father brought her dying grandmother to Michigan from India to care for her. Gopika, who was still in high school at the time, played a significant role in that care. Her grandmother died in 2012.

“Looking back, I thought it was a chore, even questioning why was I doing this,” she said.


“But now, I feel such an appreciation to have known the privilege of caring for her and feel so blessed to have had the time with her. It will forever remain this beautiful gift that I will treasure always.”

Selfless Selfie

Angela Hospice staff members share why they
support #GivingTuesday in an #UNselfie.
The selfie is everywhere. It's probably all over your Facebook and Instagram feeds, close-up after close-up of other people's faces. We've all taken them, no need to lie. But this holiday season how about taking a selfless selfie?

On Tuesday, December 2, aka #GivingTuesday, you can jump on the #UNselfie bandwagon. You still get to take a picture of yourself but this time it's for a good cause. Win-win, right?

Just download and print our #UNselfie flyer, fill it out, and then take an #UNselfie. After you're done upload it to Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. Then be sure to tag Angela Hospice and use the hashtags, #UNselfie and #GivingTuesday. Let us know why you are supporting Angela Hospice on #GivingTuesday. Turn it into a group activity at your holiday events by having your friends and family take pictures of each other. Upload them inbetween bites of pie. Inspire everyone to participate in #GivingTuesday.

So what exactly is #GivingTuesday? It’s a global day of giving. Founded in 2012 by New York's 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nation Foundation, #GivingTuesday was inspired by the core Jewish value of tikkun olam, which means, "repairing the world."

The team of influencers and founding partners, which includes CEOs and company presidents among others, has launched a movement that has engaged over 10,000 organizations worldwide.

"On the cusp of this gift-giving season, #GivingTuesday is such a refreshing reminder that the best gifts we give are those which cannot be repaid," said Bob Alexander, Angela Hospice's business development manager.

#GivingTuesday brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners - charities, families, businesses, and individuals - to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season.
Taking an #UNselfie is one of many things you can do to participate in #GivingTuesday. Give a boost to a friend in need or give a hand to someone you love. Give your time. Give some money to your favorite charity. Write a wonderful review about the work one of the #GivingTuesday organizations is doing. It doesn't matter how you give on #GivingTuesday, the important part is that you just do.
Learn more at givingtuesday.org.

Volunteer Spotlight: Pete Havstad

A weekly feature where you can get to know some of our volunteers.

Name: Pete Havstad

How long have you been a volunteer?
Just started his ninth year.

What areas do you work in/what tasks do you do as a volunteer?
Patient care in the Care Center three times a week to help with breakfast.

What made you decide to become a volunteer?
My mother-in-law was under Angela Hospice care and she spent her last week in the old Care Center. We were there pretty much day or night with her. So I got to see what went on, and met a lot of the nurses and aides. I guess I must've met some volunteers too.

Then a little while after that my father-in-law passed away at home with an Angela Hospice nurse there. Again, it was a really neat experience. I thought, 'Maybe that's something I could do,' because there were volunteers. So I signed up, and here I am.

What is your favorite part about volunteering?
Working with the nurses, aides, and patients. It's really gratifying.

What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering?
Just meeting some really neat people, families, and patients.

Volunteer Spotlight: Kevin Finerty

A weekly feature where you can get to know some of our volunteers.

Name Kevin Finnerty

How long have you been a volunteer?
Since April.


What areas do you work in/what tasks do you do as a volunteer?
Patient care in the Care Center

What made you decide to become a volunteer?
I retired and I was bored. I thought, “I want to do something where I'm giving up myself.” I've taken all these years from employers, if you will, as an employee and given back. But I really wanted to do something to give back. I wanted to learn more about Angela Hospice and about the hospice philosophy. I have never been around people that are in the process of dying. I wanted to learn more about that. I mean, I've lost both my parents but I wanted to learn a little bit more.

The classes were just wonderful. Syndie did a great job. And every one of us, despite the fact that it was throughout the winter, we looked forward to getting out in that blizzard, and coming to learn more about the Felician sisters and Sister Giovanni’s triumph.

Why Angela Hospice?
It’s local. Two of my close friends' mothers passed here. They had talked about Angela Hospice and what a great place it is.

What is your favorite part about volunteering?
Well, in the beginning it was the classes. I'm an educator and I thought the classes were done very, very well.

Coming is bittersweet. Sometimes you get here, and people you fed last week are no longer here. That's the bitter. But you have to – I don't like to use the word harden yourself to that, but it's reality. That's why I wanted to come here and learn more about death and dying. And that you met new people here. I think that's it in a nutshell.

I love coming to help people, and see them and chat with them.

I'm mainly in Wing C, that's where I did my training. That's where I've been ever since.

What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering?
There was a gentleman who was from Ford and I would always stop in and see him. His wife was always very gracious and she would say to her husband, "Your buddy from Ford is here."

I would just come in, and chat with him about me working in the glass house and him being an engineer. Just being able to chat with him about what an engineer does as compared to an HR man that recruited all those people. He was doing fine, and I would come in and just sit and we would chat. The next week he wasn't here. But I have a fond memory of him and his stories and his wife, a very gracious lady.

I enjoy meeting the families equally as much as the patients and asking if I can help them with anything – get them coffee or ice water.