First: January 2, 2013
Last: January 2, 2013
Building a Hospice House in Small Town Arkansas
Four years ago our community received a challenge to build a community, not for profit, Hospice House. Little did we know that this would be the only one of its kind, at least that we can find.
One small town came together to meet the needs of the dying. A much needed Hospice House was constructed in Harrison Arkansas through the efforts of volunteers and community donations.
Local Hospice volunteers discovered terminally ill people through out the rural area living in unbelievably horrible conditions. One hospice volunteer appealed to people of the community for help. The community responded to the cry for help in a dramatic fashion. However, this is a small rural community the need is huge.
A few examples of just how much the hospice home was needed are: Hospice volunteers uncovered a dying woman was living alone in a home in rural Arkansas with no running water or electricity. Another dying woman who was in severe pain was not getting her pain pills because her drug addicted son was stealing them from her for his own use.
Knowing of these conditions, one hospice volunteer contacted a local businessman and asked if he would help by organizing a plan to buy or build a hospice house. He put together a small group of people and contacted the county judge who donated three acres to the project. The newly organized group next contacted a local community college. The college had recently closed their construction class, but agreed to bring it back to help build this Hospice House. The biggest and most incredible event was when we invited about 25 local business owners to lunch, told our story, and within 10 minutes had 90% of the materials donated. The story was first met with total silence. Then one brave merchant spoke up to donate a doorknob. Next, a few 2 X 4's were offered. Then the floodgates of generosity were opened and you just could not stop the giving
When building the Hospice House we knew we would take care of anyone regardless of ability to pay. We did not know how significant this would be but estimated that it would not be a large amount of people, and it has not been. Last year we finished with a loss of $50,000 which included some start up cost, but it was very apparent that we needed a fund raising plan for the future.
Because of the enormous amount of community support during the building stage we felt that we could get a large percentage of our five county area support if we just got the word out. We also felt that the $20 would be the magical number. There is an amount that almost everyone could afford, and we thought that amount was under $25 and the twenty was just one bill, a twenty.
After the concept and general plan was designed we decided we needed a slogan. Sent out an e-mail request and got around 50 suggestions, but the minute we saw the Twenty is Plenty it stuck.
We are near conclusion of our second annual Twenty IS Plenty campaign and the whole town is talking and donating $20. This is the most increasable campaign that has ever been conducted in Harrison. It allows everyone to participate and participate they do.