Last winter, with the holiday season approaching, Pauline Cooke of Castine began thinking about “those who were going to be forgotten,” she told me, “and my first thought was of hospice; the demands on someone in hospice care,” everything from medical expenses to food and fuel which, in her decidedly English accent, she refers to as “petrol.”
With that thought in mind, Pauline contacted Sarah Huisjen, hospice chaplain for Hancock County HomeCare & Hospice, which is based in Blue Hill with a satellite office in Bar Harbor that is now in its 80th year serving Hancock County.
Pauline asked Sarah to compile a list of things people in hospice care needed.
“People in hospice care are making impossible choices,” Pauline said. “Do they buy petrol to get to chemotherapy treatments or do they get food for the family?”
Pauline said Sarah’s response was immediate and positive, and the two began working together to help those in hospice care have a happier and merrier Christmas.
“I then approached my church,” Pauline said of fellow members of Trinity Episcopal Church, “and asked, ‘Are you on board?’
And they said yes,” so the church members worked out a voucher program where they were able to make voucher donations, through hospice staff, to hospice patients and their families.
The effort was so well-received that Pauline has decided to do the same this year and is heading up a fundraiser to support that Christmas hospice voucher program.
Trinity Episcopal Church will hold an Auction Evening to benefit Hancock County HomeCare & Hospice beginning with a viewing at 5:30 p.m. and the auction at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at Trinity Episcopal Church Hall in Castine.
Hors d’oeuvres and punch will be provided, and Pauline invites you to check out the church website atwww.trinitychurchcastine.org for an up-to-date listing of auction items that include an autographed Boston Red Sox baseball with Jonathan Papelbon’s signature and a Clark Fitz-Gerald sculpture.
A recent addition to the auction is an offer by e-book legal thriller author Rebecca Forster for someone to be a character in “Expert Witness,” the fourth book in her best-selling Witness Series, according to Pauline.
The winning bidder also will “be provided codes to download ‘Hostile Witness,’ book one, and ‘Silent Witness,’ book two, and receive ‘Privileged Witness,’ book three in hard copy,” Pauline said.
If you can help in any way at all, Pauline would be most grateful.
The public is invited to make a donation to the live auction, and the silent auction for smaller items, “right up to the start of the auction” Pauline said, and if you cannot attend but want to help, you are welcome to write a check to Trinity Episcopal Church, with Hancock County HomeCare & Hospice on the memo line and mail it to the church, 142 Perkins St., Castine 04421.
Pauline means it when she says you can help in any way. She is seeking not only auction items, but also “anything and everything” that would help make this event a success, from the food to the punch, from setting up to taking down.
As for auction item donations, Pauline suggests if you have a boat, you could offer to do a trip; if you have a garden, you could donate plants or flowers; if you like mowing lawns, you can auction that service.
“Anything at all will be considered, but we do need your help,” Pauline wrote in a church newsletter.
If you have questions, you can call her at 326-9772 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We have had many successful church fundraising events this year, and so this is our turn to help others who are making the impossible choices we probably will never be faced with,” Pauline reminded church members.
For her part, Sarah told me Pauline’s early-December phone call “was like an angel appearing.”
“Our nurses give 100 percent of their hearts, and care for people they follow; and to be able to help in this way is very meaningful and gratifying,” she said of the nurses “being able to be the deliverers of good news.”
“For whatever reason, she’s adopted us,” Sarah said of Pauline, adding that “her knack of recognition of wanting to improve the lives of those sometimes forgotten; the invisible people in need, is extremely gratifying.”
“Whatever comes our way would be wonderful.”
Pauline said she was pleased not only that the program helped those for whom it was intended — hospice patients and their families — but also when Sarah said it helped lift the morale of hospice staff as well.
That’s why Pauline decided to get things going earlier this year, with a summer fundraiser that would bring in not only the local residents but the summer folks, too.
“It’s such a worthwhile cause,” Pauline said, reminding everyone who participates that all proceeds raised will go to the Christmas Hospice Vouchers project.