Whenever I am checking out at a store, whether it be Hot Topic or Walgreens, I am asked if I would like to donate a dollar, or round up my total to help fund an organization. Sometimes I say yes, and other times I say no. Whenever I go ahead and choose to donate, I always think to myself, “Did my donation really matter?”
Friends of Hospice is a local, fundraising organization that helps bring comfort to people during their last moments, whether that comfort comes from a soft blanket, a cup of coffee or the presence of loved ones, is up to the patient.
But every dollar Friends of Hospice raises goes to Hospice of the Calumet Area, where these needs are met. Wendy Mis recently became the president for Friends of Hospice. Mis was a long time member and former Vice President for Friends of Hospice. However, before Mis became a member, she was an active supporter.
“Well years ago we [my husband and I] had attended one of their spring events, the Seeds of Hope dinner and we attended with my husband’s previous company,” said Mis. “It was a great event. Over the last ten, 15 years, I gained recognition of the organization through the events that they held.”
Mis started attending the fall luncheon and then a good friend recommended she join the Friends of Hospice. Mis thought that becoming a Friend of Hospice was as simple as making a donation, but she was wrong, it involved so much more.
She enjoyed it so much she decided to further her involved by taking on a new role. “A leadership role became available and I was happy to get on the board. I started in as Vice President a year ago,” Mis said.
Friends of Hospice reaches the Lake County area and even some of Porter County. Mis is able to alleviate some of the financial costs through the organization of the three annual events Friends of Hospice hosts.
“I think as a fundraising arm, we make it easier for people in perhaps one of the worst times of their life, we make that a little easier. They don’t have to worry about funding and [think] ‘How are we going to pay for this?’ Every dollar we make, makes someone else’s burden a little easier,” Mis said.
Not only is Mis the president for Friends of Hospice, she is also the Executive Director for Munster’s Chamber of Commerce.
“What we’re trying to do, the [Munster] Chamber is and [former President] Debbie Rollo started this with Horizon, they did a fundraising drive they collected items from both their patrons and as well as their staff. We’re going to do that in the fall, we’re going to do a food drive for the Riley House,” Mis said.
While not everyone in the community may not be able to afford a donation, Mis offered alternative ways to get involved with Friends of Hospice, including supporting their annual events.
“We have three annual events: a dinner, a lunch and then a fashion show. We also have the Hospice Artisans and they are at a lot of events throughout the year and then they have their own artisan boutique in November, and all of this is always open to the public. But they have just beautiful, hand-crafted items.” said Mis.
“People in the community can support Hospice by supporting Hospice Artisans, going to Friends of Hospice events, volunteering [or by] donating,” Mis continued. .
Through membership and holding office with Friends of Hospice, Mis has been able to witness how Friends of Hospice impacts the community and appreciates everyone who is involved in their success.
“It’s made me see what incredible talent we have on this Region and the giving, generous spirit that so many people have especially that are touching this organization.” said Mis. “The Hospice Artisans, they are the most talented women and they hustle like I’ve never seen and they’re doing all for charity. It’s wonderful to see, they’re beautiful role models.”
Mis continued, “The Friends of Hospice team, when they are needed, they show up in force. They get the job done. It’s the hard work ethic and the sense of community among this group is so inspiring. I’m learning more about how every little contribution is.”