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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Hospice Caring, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Family Services, Hospices, Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: Since 1989, Hospice Caring, Inc. (HCI) has provided free practical and emotional support to terminally ill patients and their families, and to anyone grieving the death of a loved one. Dedicated volunteers provide care that promotes quality of life, helping patients to live each day fully and with dignity, and to ensure that no one need die alone and that no one need grieve alone. These services are provided free of charge to residents of Montgomery County, Maryland.HCI strives to respond to the needs of the community through additional programs while staying within its original mission.

Programs: Hospice caring, inc. Is the only volunteer-driven, non medical hospice in montgomery county, md and provides services at no charge in three main areas. Patient and family focuses on the needs of individuals facing a life-theatening illness and their families. Our trained volunteer caregivers often provide much needed respite for the family caregiver by providing support, advocacy, assistance with household tasks and errands, transportation and companionship.

hospice caring, inc. Bereavement serving children and adults offers several forms of support to those grieving the death of a loved one. Adult bereavement groups meet at hospice caring's cottage. Meetings are facilitated by a trained hospice caring volunteer. These groups provide a safe haven where people who are grieving can meet other individuals who are going through a similar experience, share their stories, learn from one another and receive much needed support. Groups are provided at no charge. County residency is not required to participate.

hospice caring, inc. 's bereavement services for children are offered at no charge and include the following:hospice caring, inc. , in partnership with the montgomery county elementary, middle, and high schools, provides the good grief clubs for students grieving the death of a loved one. Each club is a seven week program run by a trained hospice caring facilitator at the invitation of the school's guidance counselor (who attends each session). The children have a safe environment to share their feelings and learn coping skills. Camp caring for children, ages 8-12 is a weekend, overnight camp which offers one on one bereavement support by hospice caring screened and trained volunteers, big buddies. The children explore their feelings of loss and learn ways to express and cope with their grief. Camp caring is made possible by a very generous community. Children may be referred by parents, guardians, advocates or school counselors. Hospice caring is particularly proud of and thankful for the cooperative partnership with montgomery county public school counselors. Highly trained volunteers from hospice caring appear as guest speakers in montgomery county high schools to teach the chapter on "coping with loss and grief," part of the mcps curriculum for the tenth grade. The grief relief after-school program is offered at the hospice caring inc. Cottage for children and their parents or guardians as a means of additional bereavement support.

community outreach strives to create awareness of hospice caring's programs and services through press coverage, publications (newsletters), mailings for events, materials for speaking engagements at health/employee/community fairs, and networking opportunities. Volunteers, patients and bereavement group members are recruited through these efforts.

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Robin89

Client Served

Rating: 5

The bereavement support group provided me by Hospice Caring was absolutely wonderful and a huge, huge help. I have the greatest respect for this organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been served by Hospice Caring in a bereavement program and now have the great honor of volunteering for the organization. Hospice Caring provides extraordinary services to the community and does so with exceptional compassion.

Sally46

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a caregiver for clients who are in the last stages of their lives. It is an honor and a privilege to be with them on this journey. The smallest acts often make a big difference in the quality of living for the clients. I get so much more than I give from being with these people at this very special time in their lives. Helping them live the last months, weeks, days and minutes is an awesome experience. Hospice Caring gives its volunteers the training, support and courage to make a difference in the lives of others art a crucial time.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice Caring offers non medical support for those living out the last days of their life. In addition they have great bereavement support programs for children and adults in Montgomery County, Md. All of their offerings are fee of charge.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This "work" is very rewarding. It is a pleasure to get to know the clients. I am happy to be able to help out people in my community. PAY IT FORWARD !!!!!!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice Caring, Inc. is a fantastic organization. After my son died in 1997, I became a member of one of their bereavement groups. The group was very instrumental in my healing. They are such a warm caring organization that I later took their volunteer training to become a children's bereavement volunteer. I saw first hand how this organization worked in making a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of grieving children. I was so impressed by them, I joined their staff and worked with the organization for nearly nine years. I have since retired and moved out of state, but because of what a truly unique and exceptional organization they are, I return once a year to volunteer for their children's grief camp, Camp Caring. They are truly making a difference in their community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice Caring, Inc. is there to help our community members and our volunteers both with the same dedication to excellence. The quality of service,care,attention, and knowledge is uniformly excellent for cilldren and adults alike. Seeing a grieving adult become able to smile after being in one of our Bereavement groups is testament to the bereaved and to Hospice Caring and its volunteer facilitators.Good Grief, alllows a grieving schoolchild to know that he/she is not the only one to suffer a monumental loss. The facilitators initially guide discussions that open the door to those painful feelings that the child had no place to express previously. Life goes on much better with the assistance of Hospice Caring, Inc.

1 Susan141

Client Served

Rating: 4

Both my mother and I have been the recipients (free of charge) of grief group support by Hospice Caring, Inc. This support was absolutely invaluable to our individual healing processes. An unexpected byproduct of attending our grief groups was developing friendships within the groups, the organization's staff, and their volunteers. My mother unexpectedly died while still part of a grief group and the outpouring of support I received from Hospice Caring was amazing. Having worked in the nonprofit arena for 20+ years, I hold others in the field to very high standards. Hospice Caring is a well-run organization, more than worthy of donating to, and I am honored to be giving back and volunteering my time to this nonprofit.

1 Lisa94

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I served as Executive Director of Hospice Caring, INc. (HCI) for 9 years. During that time I met the most dedicated staff and volunteers- who gave time and effort to the dying and grieving in our community. They sponsor Camp Caring, the only weekend camp in Montgomery county for children grieving the death of a loved one. The stories from families served by Hospice Caring are heart warming..the youngest served was a few months old and the oldest 102. The caring, the extra mile the volunteers go...all free of charge to familes... is unbelievable. HCI also provides bereavement support in our schools to children of all ages. I now serve on the board of directors and am inspired every day by the unselfish acts of these volunteers who provide comfort, care and 'just being there'. In addition, there are many peer support groups for adults grieving the death of a loved one to suicide, or losing a child, or a spouse...all at no cost. This volunteer driven organization is an absolute gem...now 23years in existence...all funded through donations and small grants from people who care about the importance of easing our neighbors through their end of life journey and supporting the families after the death.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Hospice Caring is not an organization...it is a family. I was Executive Director in 1997 and served for 9 years until I retired in 2006. I went back as a bridge between other EDs and each time was welcomed as if I had never been away. The staff are the most caring and compassionate people with whom one would wish to work. The volunteers who outnumber the staff by 40 to 1 are so dedicated and inventive, finding the best way to provide the most personal service to our patients and grieving children and families. I now serve on the Board of Directors, volunteering with an amazing and talented Executive Director who continues to grow and nurture Hospice Caring. It is the most unique non-profit I have ever known, continially meeting the needs of the members of the community and the children in our schools.

Lois G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have both benefited and volunteered for Hospice Caring. When my husband died in 2008 I joined a support group with two wonderful volunteer facilitators. I remain close friends with the support group members; we get together at least monthly and talk often. I keep in touch with the facilitators who are also now my friends. I also began this year doing children's Good Grief Clubs in schools, after having received excellent training, and plan to continue the coming year. I am so impressed by all the work that Hospice Caring does and with the staff and volunteers.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If you haven't seen the YouTube video of Hospice Caring, Inc. grab a box of tissues and get ready for your heart to melt. I've had the privilege of serving as a volunteer in many capacities over the last ten years for this stellar organization, committed to serving children and families who are coping with the painful loss of a loved one. From facilitating school- based, seven week support groups in elementary, middle and high schools for their Good Grief Club, to volunteering for five summers at their annual weekend Camp Caring, to running their adult book group and presenting at their continued education conferences, each experience coupled with my personal journey as a 2 time cancer survivor with three young grieving children facing their mother's possible death, is a gentle reminder to relish each moment-- it may be one of your last. Hospice Caring is exceptional in that all services are free of charge for grieving children and families. How can this be possible in this day and age? As a non- medical Hospice, in addition to a small yet dynamic, paid staff ( all whom have the word Angel as their middle name,) over 350,000 volunteers have been highly chosen and trained over the last 23 years. During this time, they have collectively put in over 1,425,902 miles, driving patients with a terminal illness or their families on errands, or driving to camps or to schools to facilitate support groups for children in kindergarten through high school. During the last ten years, the highly successful Good Grief Club has spread from 1 to 76 local schools; hundreds of grieving children and their families, along with school personnel have benefited from the 183 school support groups facilitated by Hospice Caring volunteers. The very first time I witnessed a five year old student's eyes brim with tears after discovering he was "not the only one" trying to cope with such a magnitude of loss, I knew instantly that being a volunteer with Hospice Caring was the hardest job I'd ever loved. How can Hospice Caring provide all their loving and supportive services to families free of charge? With fierce dedication and commitment, this state recognized, award winning program constantly strives for excellence in everything they do, including relying on the philanthropy and good will of private donors. The proof of its extraordinary success lies in the hearts of all those that have been healed, and the light that begins to shine on a child's face after a weekend at our magical Camp Caring or Good Grief Club. Five stars is an understatement. When it comes to Hospice Caring, five million might be more accurate.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

During my 10 years as an office volunteer for HCI, time and time again I have witnessed the extraordinary services and personnel of this organization. Well-trained, compassionate and trained volunteers often go far and above expectations. There are not enough stars to rate Hospice Caring as highly as it deserves.

Review from Guidestar

Susan101

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband passed away in 1995. Before that Hospice Caring helped us out in numerous ways. After his death, I attended one of their support groups and found it very helpful. It had wonderful facilitators. I've now volunteered for this organization for many years. It doesn't receive any funding, and depends solely on contributions. I can't think of a more deserving organization.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In 2008, I retired from education and looked for ways to continue helping in my community. Two family members had died of cancer and had benefitted tremendously from different hospice services. I decided that this organization that does not preform medical services and my administrative skills might be a match. I volunteered weekly for several years until a relocation made the distance too great. At the "cottage", I found a group of individuals who are focused on the task of helping whoever needs assistance. There is never the question of convenience, cost, or availability. The few staff and the numerous volunteers provide support, comfort, and assistance to all comers! The in-school groups that assist children in their understanding of death of loved ones and communicating their feelings are particularly a valuable segment of the HCI program. As an educator, I saw so many instances where students were adversely affected by the illnesses or loss of family. The daunting task of loss and grieving support for children sets this organization apart from other worthwhile organizations.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Hospice Caring for 6 years now. I visit patients in the final part of their lives. People think this could be depressing, but the opportunity to share this final journey is a great privilege, often providing funny moments. Hospice Caring itself is a wonderful organization, and is always supportive of their volunteers. As a volunteer I am often asked questions about local services which I may not know. H.C. is always a good resource. What we do for the individuals we serve is always different; from reading to them, shopping, tidying, preparing and feeding them a meal, or just sitting and holding their hand. One of the things I have heard most often is "you are the only people who have the time to just sit with me." What a marvellous opportunity we have to serve our local community.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In 2007, an elderly neighbor was dying of cancer. One day when I visited her, I met a volunteer from Hospice Caring who was spending time reading to her. I was so impressed by this volunteer's act of kindness that, after my neighbor passed away, I contacted Hospice Caring and signed up to be a volunteer myself. Since then, I have spent time as a volunteer assisting patients and their families as they confront the difficult challenges of a terminal illness. I have also volunteered for Hospice Caring's wonderful children's bereavement program called Camp Caring. In addition, since 2009 I have volunteered my time as a member of Hospice Caring's Board of Directors. Through the Camp Caring experience, as well as through the Good Grief Club program conducted in concert with the local public school system, Hospice Caring helps hundreds of children per year as they struggle with the difficult and traumatic experience of losing a loved one. This is a fantastic organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer in the Adult Bereavement Program of Hospice Caring for about 6 years now. This is a fabulous organization. The staff supports the volunteers through excellent training and ongoing enrichment. We meet regularly as a group of facilitators to learn from and support each other. The best part is the growth and healing we are priviledged to witness as we work with the people who need our services and join our peer support groups. Hospice Caring is so committed to meeting the needs of the community that our coordinator starts new groups whenever a need is identified. I have helped facilitate parent loss, spousal loss, sibling/friend loss, motherless daughters, and young adult groups. It is an honor to be part of this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at Hospice Caring for the better part of two years. This organization offers so much for the terminally ill and their families. From respite care for the dying to a host of bereavement groups afterward. The Cottage exudes so much warmth and compassion that I knew from the time I started training that I was in hallowed grounds. Most of my volunteering has been spent facilitating bereavement groups. Interacting with the hospice staff has been emotionally and professionally rewarding. While facilitating these groups, I have been humbled and honored to listen to these grieving people during their darkest hours and most significantly seen their spirits slowly revive. Marcia

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Cecilia.I have been a volunteer at Hospice Caring for the past 2 years. From the first day of my training,I was impressed by this organization mission and values as well as by the group of caring and charismatic volunteers that really are at the core of this organization.HPI believes and respect the in individual choices at its stage of the grieving process and we are trained to reach them where they are. This is emphasized in all the many training and educational offerings that HCI provides to their volunteers . I have worked as a facilitator for the Good Grief Club ( 7 group sessions for school age children) and as a facilitator for the "Family Grief Relief" a group for families AND their children, it was been wonderful to see these families learning to grieve together and been able to do this in a caring and supporting environment and with some fun activities for the children. Nothing has been more moving to me as a volunteer that to hear them say how long it is to wait a week until the next session! As a volunteer ,there is no price will pay the satisfaction of been able to help others in such a difficult time. I love my volunteer work and I intent to continue my active participation in Hospice Caring Inc.

Cecilia R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a Hospice Caring volunteer for nearly 4 years. The wonderful, dedicated volunteers I work amongst give me faith in human kind, faith that I had once lost. The organization is fabulous and I can't imagine anything I wouldn't do to support it and its mission. I've been a patient visitor/caregiver, wrapped gifts during the holidays, ran all around the ballroom doing lots of different things at the gala fundraiser, facilitate a spousal loss bereavement support group, weekly, and am a Big Buddy at Camp Caring each year - this year was my 4th. Your donation to Hospice Caring will support a variety of services to the community and support hundreds of volunteers like me in continuing to provide those services. Without your support I can't be a Big Buddy to a grieving child at Camp Caring. Without your support I can't facilitate a support group for people whose spouses have died. Without your support I can't visit someone who's dying and hold their hand and comfort them. Please support Hospice Caring so all the volunteers, including me may continue in this work that we love.