A New Year: A New You

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By Diana Wayne

Guest Columnist

What if we all thought of the new year as an opportunity to be the change we want to see?
 What if you could be the difference for someone who needs you? At Haven, we believe that our staff and volunteers are the difference. Our volunteers will tell you that working with the patients and families we serve is more rewarding than they ever imagined. Haven volunteers go above and beyond to bring comfort to our patients and families so they can cherish each day they have together.
 What’s the most important gift you can give your family and yourself in the new year? Talk with your family and doctors about how you want to be treated if you become seriously ill. Life is full of unexpected events and complications, so it’s important to decide while you can. Put your wishes in writing to protect your family members from having to make hard choices about your health care. Haven recommends a living will called Five Wishes. To order your free copy, visit www.havenhospice.org.
 What if you could help ensure that no one dies alone or without choices? Become an advocate for the benefits of hospice care by joining the Haven Speakers Bureau. You can help us: 1) Share the news that every hour of hospice care is an hour that enhances the quality of life. 2) Raise awareness that hospice care is for anyone with a terminal illness, regardless of ability to pay. 3) Teach others how hospice relieves pain. 4) Encourage people to ask for help sooner rather than later. Call 800.727.1889 to participate in your local Haven Speakers Bureau.
 What if you could help children begin to heal after experiencing a loss? When you donate your unwanted treasures to the Haven Hospice Attic Resale Store, you help support children who need extraordinary support after the death of a loved one. Camp Safe Haven provides children an opportunity for fun and therapeutic activities to help them work through their grief. All proceeds from the sale of your donations to the Attic support Camp Safe Haven and other Haven grief counseling services. They also help provide patient care for those who are not covered by insurance. Visit www.havenhospice.org to learn more about donating or arranging a pick-up.
 What if you could help someone fulfill one last wish? Recently, our Haven staff hosted a potluck lunch to raise funds toward the cost of fulfilling a patient’s longstanding wish to go skydiving. Haven welcomes donations to help fulfill final wishes. For more information, contact Haven Associate Development Director Bill Lapole at 800.727.1889 or walapole@havenhospice.org.
 Each new day in 2011 is an opportunity to make a positive change in the world. Be the change you know you can be.
 Diana Wayne, public relations coordinator with Haven Hospice, is responsible for editorial content for the organization’s 18-county service area that serves Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist Counties and the Tri-Counties Hospice Care Center.