Do you care as much about people as you do animals?

Fifty thousand dollars is a lot of money raised in a relatively short time for a worthy organization

We were pleased to read in the June 19 Mirror of the return of the SPCA to Campbell River.

Fifty thousand dollars is a lot of money raised in a relatively short time for a worthy organization.

It shows the generosity of animal lovers in our city.

However, something disconcerting occurred to us, sparked by that $50,000 figure.

For this is the precise amount needed by the Hospice Society of Campbell River to take out a mortgage on a house that would serve as office and meeting rooms, and provide space for at least one bed in the future for palliative patients to live out their last days in comfort and peace.

The Hospice Society has been trying mightily to raise such funds for years, but their fundraising efforts have only been sufficient to cover basic program and rental expenses, not to purchase a Hospice House.

We wonder, how can it be that there is such an outpouring of financial support for the welfare of animals, and not for human beings – dying human beings at that?

Is it because many Campbell Riverites do not know about Hospice and the important services it offers free of charge to the community?

The Campbell River Hospice Society’s Mission Statement provides a basic overview of its raison d’etre:

“(The Society) exists to provide compassionate support and companionship to meet the needs of those individuals facing death, their families and their friends and to those grieving a loss due to death.”

We have visited dying friends in two different Hospice houses in Calgary, where we used to live. We were so impressed with the warm, homelike setting for the dying and their loved ones.

Such a contrast to the stark and often noisy surroundings of a hospital ward.

All the supports were there – physical, emotional, spiritual, and, of course, medical – to make the transition from this world to the next as pain-free and peaceful as possible.

We need a Hospice house in Campbell River.

It would provide needed additional space to expand day programs for palliative patients, additional therapy, counselling and support groups, and eventually those vitally important Hospice beds.

The timing for this seems particularly right, because our Hospice Society must vacate its present rental location in a few short months, and find a new location. A house would be such a welcome new “home”.

All it would take is a similar outpouring of support by the generous people of Campbell River.

If you would like to know more about our Hospice Society, drop in to the Hospice office, 301 Dogwood St.

Talk with Iona or Julie, pick up some printed material, or take out a book or DVD from the Hospice library. Or give them a call: (250) 286-1121.

Murray and Joan Etty

Hospice volunteers