Tuesday, January 28, 2014

WWII Nurse Warmed with a Quilt of Comfort and Love

Recently Hospice of Santa Cruz County’s social worker Nina Garcia and nurse Heather Richardson had the honor of presenting a former World War II nurse with a quilt of comfort and love. “She was smiling from ear to ear and proud (although a little shy) to show it off to her table mates.  She looks so happy and pretty in pink.” shared Richardson.

Hinemoa "Jo" Ruskin is 93 yrs old and lives at Oak Tree Villa. She was a nurse in the Navy during WWII where she served both in France and the United States working at Field Hospital EVAC 106.

Jo’s son said her unit landed at Utah Beach one month after D-Day and followed the front across France and Germany.

When Jo was asked to describe her experiences she said she was in the "infantry that won the war" and was quite proud. " It was very cold and snowy, and I bunked with 5 other women in the same tent. The work was very rewarding, but very, very challenging, the experiences varied widely and there were too many."

Nina said, “She was very excited, and quite deserving!  It is extremely difficult for her to speak, so the information she shared is very precious.”
The quilt was lovingly crafted by members of The Parajo Valley Quilters Association.  The PVQA have made quilts for a variety of non-profit fundraisers for many years and have more than 400 members. They have brought joy and comfort to hundreds of Santa Cruz County residents as a result of their talents and generosity.

Nurse Heather Richardson said, “I think it [the quilt] made her day!” 

Thank you to all who collaborated on creating this loving quilt and HSCC staff who presented it to Jo, it warms our hearts. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hospice and Food?

Yes, despite what you may be thinking, they do go together in the most glorious way!  A table full of good friends enjoying dinner, celebrating her birthday and supporting Hospice all at once is how Susan Seaburg celebrated her birthday last January.

Dining for Hospice of Santa Cruz County at Bittersweet Bistro fell right in the middle of Susan’s birthday week.  Often, she chooses to go out to eat for her birthday, so she decided to combine the two.  “I thought it would be fun to invite friends, celebrate my birthday and 1/3 of our proceeds went to Hospice.  I call it a 2 for 1!”
When inviting her friends, Susan included in the information that Bittersweet was donating a portion of their dinner to benefit Hospice. “We had birthday balloons on my chair and there was another table with a bunch of balloons – a girl with a birthday crown clearly enjoying her birthday too, we took pictures together“.
Susan and her partner are Legacy Circle Members. Legacy giving is about making a difference through a planned charitable gift.  “We’re members because when someone is nearing the end of their life, most of us have never gone through that.  It’s just so wonderful to know that Hospice will be there to help those of us who are still around to get through the process and help the person who is at the end of their life to make it as painless as possible.”

They are also Hospice Angels, ensuring that the quality, compassionate care provided by Hospice of Santa Cruz County reaches all who are in need of our support.  “People see this experience as being around the dying person only.  We also need to look at it as what Hospice does for the people left behind.  Having experienced that in losing parents, we want to continue to support Hospice so people have the support they need.”

This year marks the 7th year for this special Dining for Hospice event and it is expected to bring the total raised since 2007 to the $10,000 mark.  Susan shared, “We had a wonderful dinner, the food was fabulous - made all the more joyous by the fact we were celebrating my birthday, hanging out with friends and doing something that is having a positive influence on the community.  I urge others to do the same.  The 2 for 1 makes you feel good and it’s helping everybody!”

We hope you’ll join us for Dining for Hospice at Bittersweet Bistro on January 28th.  Call (831) 662-9799 and mention you're dining for Hospice of Santa Cruz County when making your reservation and 1/3 of your dinner bill will be donated to support our community programs.

For more information on making a difference by becoming a Hospice Angel or Legacy Donor, visit our website at www.hospicesantacruz.org/make-a-difference/hospice-angels.