Wellsville, NY – To show appreciation for Hart Comfort House and their vital role in our community, members of Leadership Allegany are organizing a collection drive for the month of November, which is National Hospice & Palliative Care Month.
We want our loved ones to have the best possible care and quality of life during their final days. But what happens when doctors have said that it’s time for hospice, but families don’t have the means to pay for full-time care? Where can we turn when we feel helpless to care for a loved one who is in their final few months of life? Hart Comfort House exists to fill this need: to provide a warm and welcoming home, extending loving care to terminally ill residents and their families.
The home, located in Wellsville, NY, was donated by the family of Mary Ellen and Gerald Hart and has been fully renovated and adapted. Opening in 2012, Hart Comfort’s staff and trained volunteers continue to care for up to two residents at a time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They provide warm and compassionate care and support, not only to residents, but also to residents’ families and friends.
Former Coordinator of Volunteers, Cheryl Van Cassele is quoted on the Comfort House website: “Some people may, unknowingly, assume that an end-of-life facility will be a somber place. The Hart Comfort House is anything but. This is one of the happiest, most joyful places in the county as far as I’m concerned.”
Comfort House serves people living in Allegany County, but may also consider residents from neighboring counties. Admission to Hart Comfort House is based solely on need, regardless of age, sex, race religion or sexual orientation. Priority is given to those who can no longer be cared for at home.
The collection drive is being organized by a team of Leadership Allegany participants. Leadership Allegany is a joint initiative of Houghton University, the Cuba Chamber of Commerce, and Alfred State College that provides a dynamic, 9-month learning environment where adult professionals who live, work, or have a vested interest in Allegany County grow their leadership abilities, create connections, and impact their communities. Each year’s cohort is divided into smaller teams, and each team completes a service project as part of the curriculum.
Molly Cole, Wellsville resident and part of Leadership Allegany, states, “Our team was discussing what we might do for our service project, and I immediately thought of Hart Comfort House. The work they do is so important and so inspiring.” After meeting with the folks at Comfort House, the Leadership Allegany team determined that a great way for the community to show its support would be to organize a collection of shelf-stable snacks and drinks that can be made available to the staff and volunteers of Comfort House, along with guests who are visiting their loved ones.
“Anything with a long shelf-life that is individually wrapped will be so helpful to have on hand,” states Ellen Tucker, also part of Leadership Allegany this year. “Bottled water, granola bars, fruit cups, cookies – really anything that’s quick to grab that can provide people with a little bite while they’re there volunteering or visiting.”
You can find labeled bins in stores around Allegany County throughout the month of November.
For more information about Hart Comfort House, visit their website at https://comforthouseofalleganycounty.org/. There, you can find information about other ways to volunteer, admission information, and ways to make monetary donations.
Collection Drive for Hart Comfort House of Allegany County, Free need-based Hospice Care for Our Community