Hospice angels return in 2004

TV Hagenah

For the ninth year in a row, the Helping Hands Hospice Angels are coming to Tucumcari. According to Diana Beck, the director of nursing at the hospice, this time of year is a very special season for the hospice because of the importance of such things to their patients.

For that reason two of the hospices most important fund raisers come about around the holiday season – the helping hands Angel Tree and the Hospice Home Tour. “Both are so important to us,” said Beck about the two fund raisers and annual events. Beck said that despite their importance the focus of the two are somewhat different.

With the angel tree people purchase a small paper angel ornament for $5 and put their name and the name of a loved one (often a deceased loved one) on the ornament which is hung on a Christmas Tree designated an “Angel Tree” either in the lobby of ALCO or the Tucumcari Public Library.
The small ornaments are on sale from Friday, Nov. 19 through Tuesday, Dec. 23.

That way, said Beck, a person can come along, look at the tree and see the bond between the person who purchased the paper angel hanging on the Angel Tree and the person who had died or who held special memories for the purchaser. But board president for the hospice Bill Greenfield said the memories created by the Angel Tree doesn’t stop there because Beck has taken the concept a step further. “She makes a ceramic angel ornament and gives one to each person who purchased a paper one,” said Greenfield. “She’s done it for a long time.”

Beck said she does indeed make the small angels and bakes them in her own kiln and prepares them for the people who buy the paper angels so they too have something hanging from their Christmas tree. “She does a different one every year,” said Green. Beck said making a different angel each year makes that specific Christmas a bit more unique for the people who take part in the Angel Tree program. “And we hope the people realize that they are helping the hospice program when they buy an angel for the Angel Tree,” said Beck.

Both Beck and Greenfield said the Angel money all goes for the patients of the hospice to help them in their final day.
Beck said the money goes for a number of projects that help the patients of hospice. She said there are seeming small things that may be provided like a woman having her hair done and big things like a special chair which helps a person stand or a wheelchair. “We use the funds raised to help the patients in any way we can,” said Beck.

The other big event of the holidays is the Hospice Home Tour which allows the citizens of the community to visit a handful of selected homes in the city and see how the holiday spirit is manifested.

The home tour will take place Sunday, Dec. 12.