Valentine's gifts needed for local hospice patients

Valentine's gifts needed for local hospice patients

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. While many of you might be thinking about what to get your honey for February 14, one local organization is asking for gifts to give to those in need on this holiday.

Hospice Care of America is hosting their annual Baskets of Love drive. They are collecting gift baskets that will then be delivered to hospice patients throughout the Lowcountry on Valentine's Day.

Organizers say that this holiday is one that many patients facing a terminal illness would not get the chance to celebrate. This surprise act of kindness can be a tremendous source of comfort to someone courageously preparing for the end of their life.

One of those patients on the receiving end is Thomas Barrineau, Jr. The 67-year-old, who suffers from ALS, began hospice a year ago. His care started just in time to receive a Valentine's Day Basket of Love.

"There's no words to describe - I'll try not to cry, but they really touch you deep, they let you know you're loved," said Barrineau.

Nancy Cunningham is Barrineau's hospice nurse and she says the small act of kindness is needed this time of year.
"A lot of patients tend to get sicker over the winter months, so its just a little pick me up for them," said Cunningham.

Hospice Care organizers are asking anyone who can donate to put together a small basket, or bag, full of comforting and thoughtful goods.

Some of the suggested items include soap, lotion, coffee mug, chocolate, puzzles, books or movies.

Barrineau says his favorite part of the gift is the handwritten card and the chocolate.

Hospice Care of America is a national health care network that provides care and comfort to patients and families confronted with terminal illness.

Last year, Hospice Care of America received almost 300 baskets, all of which went to hospice patients. This year, they're hoping for even more. 

The gift baskets can be dropped off at your nearest fire department in North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Goose Creek or Summerville. Then, they'll be delivered to patient's homes and hospital rooms during the holiday weekend. 

For more information, you can contact Hospice Care of America at 843-556-2823.

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