Hospice to hand out bunches of sunshine

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By Kirsten Laskey

Los Alamos Visiting Nurses are offering the community bunches of sunshine.

This gift is available through the 15th Annual Daffodils for Hospice fundraiser.

The sun-colored flowers are shipped from California in enormous boxes. When they arrive in Los Alamos, hospice workers bunch the flowers and they are stored in a space donated by the Netuschils before and during the sale.

The flowers serve as a fundraiser for the organization.

“It’s a national initiative,” Executive Director Sarah Rochester said, “and many not-for-profit hospices do Daffodils for Hospice.”

She added 100 percent of the proceeds go toward hospice. Last year, the springtime flowers raised $19,700, “thanks to the generosity of this community,” Rochester said.

This year, she said the plan is to use some of the money to move closer to building a hospice house.

Possible locations for the hospice house are being considered but Rochester said they are hoping to break ground on the building this year.

“It’s always been a dream of the agency,” she said, “but the last few years we’ve really worked hard toward it. We believe that care for those at end of life should be gentle, kind and loving. And to be where you want to be, with the people you want to be with, is very important.”

Additionally, the money will be used for patient care, equipment and whatever is necessary to keep the patient comfortable.

Hospice house or not, Los Alamos Visiting Nurses strives to serve its patients in the best way possible, Rochester said.

“This is a wonderful, generous, giving community and it’s a chance for us to give something back through our care,” she said. “And as a nation we increasing want to end our lives at home.”

She said home care and hospice patients receive care from the organization. Between 100-150 patients get hospice care.

Orders are being taken now for flowers. Call 662-2525 to place an order. Flowers cost $5 a bunch, or $10 for one bunch in a small vase or $15 for two bunches in a big vase.

Daffodils will be delivered March 13 and they will also be sold around town including Los Alamos National Bank and Smith’s Food and Drug March 11-12.

Rochester said the fundraiser is partially funded by Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Look for silk bunches of sunlight popping up in businesses’ windows throughout town to promote the event.