Friends of Hospice volunteer wins prestigious California Hospice award
The California Hospice and Palliative Care Association has announced that the 2014 Gift of the Heart Award recipient will be Friends of Hospice’s Bev Morgan.
Morgan was nominated for her decades of support and volunteerism. She was one of the original members of the Friends of Hospice of the Foothills when they formed in 1982 and worked to produce the first of many successful fundraising events to benefit Hospice of the Foothills.
Some of them, like Breakfast in the Park and Tree of Love/Celebration of Lives events, have become beloved community traditions, bringing in donations to date in excess of $2 million.
Hospice of the Foothills serves more than 500 patients and families each year, most in their own homes in western Nevada County and surrounding communities.
Morgan is best known for the program she started in her home in 1993 called the Caring Friends — Bear program. This tradition, which continues to this day, is known and appreciated by each patient who has elected the hospice benefit through the years.
Each patient and family receives a handmade, huggable furry bear with the needlepoint banner: “Caring Friends of Hospice.” It is presented by their Hospice of the Foothills RN Case Manager or social worker and received with smiles of gratitude and delight. Each bear has its own unique personality; their cuddly bodies and facial features are made by a team who stitch and sew them.
Morgan personally delivers the bears to the clinical staff; approximately 4,000 Caring Bears have been made to date. The total number of volunteer hours she’s personally donated through her 32 years of service is in the thousands.
Morgan has been a member of the Caring Friends — Holiday Favors program since it began in 1992. This team produces thematic holiday crafts for each patient and family for Hospice staff members to present as gifts. (In fact, she has recently proclaimed that she wants to remain on that committee indefinitely.)
Until 2012, Morgan was in charge of another branch of Caring Friends, the Caring Friends — Birthday Plants program. She previously maintained the Friends’ scrapbook and was in charge of RSVPs to the Friends of Hospice quarterly luncheon meetings. She was selected as one of the Heroes for Hospice participants in 2011 (another annual fundraising event which benefited Hospice of the Foothills).
The association will present Morgan with her award at their annual conference in Las Vegas on Nov. 19.
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