Helping Hands Hospice hosts annual fundraiser

By Angela Peacock

Joe Cooper said he didn’t mind volunteering Friday evening at the Helping Hands Hospice’s annual enchilada dinner at the Tucumcari Elk’s Lodge Nov. 21.

He enjoys being able to help others he said it enriches his life.

“It’s the most important cause in town because it cares about a unique moment in life that many others don’t care about,” Cooper said, explaining that he’s not a full time hospice volunteer but helps out whenever he’s needed. “The caring involved with this organization is unreal. These people aren’t here for the money, not doing it because it’s their duty, they are doing it out of love.”

Helping Hands Hospice nurses and volunteers provide round-the-clock care designed to meet all physical, psychological and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients and their loved ones.

Diana Beck, registered nurse and hospice administator, has been with the local hospice organization for eight years. She said people often ask how she remains positive in dealing with death on a daily basis.

With a tear in her eye she smiled and explained that a struggle to deal with her own mother’s death led her to where she is today.

“The Lord put me in this place as a hospice nurse and being a Christian keeps me in good spirits,” said Beck, “My love is taking care of hospice patients and being able to help families through their difficult time, my second love is ceramics.”

Larry Brown represented the Elk’s Lodge Saturday and presented a $1,000 check to the local hospice organization. Brown saw his share of death serving in the Vietnam War, but said he doesn’t have what it takes to be a hospice care giver.

“Not only do they have to work hard, they must have a tender soul and passion for what they do,” Brown said. “Being involved with hospice takes someone who really loves their fellow man.”

Tender care and unconditional support is how Catherine Bugg remembers hospice care givers tending to her father-in-law, Henry Bugg, in the last days of his life. She said what she remembers most is how the male hospice volunteers would visit everyday to make Henry laugh by telling stories about the old days and how everyone from that time period is now old and crippled.

During Henry’s final days he was able to rest in the comfort of his own home, which Bugg said made the dying process more bearable for everyone.

“His hospice care giver made sure everything was taken care of and that the family was comfortable, she even made us coffee the morning after Henry died,” Bugg said. “It wasn’t like a hospital where the attitude is ‘how quickly can we get you out of this room?’”