2023 Gift of a Day Highlights
The Gift of a Day program is one of the most treasured quality of life programs offered by Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care. Each patient is offered the opportunity for one perfect day where they can forget about their illness and focus on what they love. Each Gift of a Day is as unique as the patients we serve.
As the year comes to a close, we’ve put together some of our favorite Gift of a Day memories from the past year.
The Leading Lady
102-year-old Betty Anderson has lived a very interesting life. Throughout her life, she worked as a radio host, a singer, a dancer, and an actress including starring in a daytime soap opera called Helen Holden: Government Girl in 1942. She also had her portrait painted by Eugene Payne who won the Pulitzer Prize for a group of ten cartoons that focused on the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Issues. For her Gift of a Day, our team presented her with a copy of that painting along with flowers, cards, and a cupcake.
For Brenda Miller, the perfect day had to include time spent with her 100-year-old mother. The mother and daughter live in separate assisted living facilities, so they don’t get to see each other in-person very often. For her Gift of a Day, Brenda had lunch with her mother where they could catch up and enjoy each other’s company. It was a perfect day for two very special ladies.
Inspiration from John Wayne
Lona Osborn says she has two favorite things in life, chocolate cake and John Wayne. For her Gift of a Day, her Crossroads team helped organize a 90th Birthday Party for Lona and her family with a delicious chocolate cake. Family flew in from around the country for the big day. Knowing Lona loved John Wayne, the team made sure his movies were playing on the TV all day and gifted her several collectibles including a John Wayne bobblehead, a throw blanket, and a fine china set.
Celebrating a Century
1923 was quite a year! Warner Brothers was established, the first issue of Time magazine was published, and insulin began being used for the treatment of diabetes. It was also the year that Marie Musser was born. Her Crossroads team made sure to celebrate the grand occasion of her 100th birthday with balloons, a cake, and the gift of a cozy blanket.
Shirley Brown’s favorite animal is the pig. For her Gift of a Day, her Crossroads team brought a friendly pig to her assisted living facility along with a full petting zoo. It featured two baby goats and a lamb, but the real star of the show was a 305-pound pig named Harper. Shirley was able to interact with all the animals, and enjoyed giving Harper some extra pets.
Daniel Crowder has always loved fishing, a pastime he has passed down to his family. For his Gift of a Day, his Crossroads care team took him to Sedalia Liberty Park in Sedalia, MO where they enjoyed some time fishing together. The team also provided lunch from KFC which Daniel called “a fancy picnic.” It was a perfect day to spend time together as a family, doing one of Daniel’s favorite things.
A Day at the Zoo
Kamran Kiani loved going to the zoo before he got sick. His favorite animal was the elephant. For his Gift of a Day, his team took him to the Memphis Zoo where is able to see some of his favorites in addition to enjoying a nice day out with the team. To ensure his comfort during the visit, they kept him wrapped up in a brand new Memphis Zoo blanket as he took in all the sights.
Ruth Wade remembers watching her sons play football for McKinley High School as some of the best times of her life. Their games against Massillon Washington have been called one of the greatest football rivalries in the country. For Ruth’s Gift of a Day, her Crossroads team took her to the 134th match between these two football powerhouses. It was Ruth’s first trip outside in a long time which made it even more exciting for her as she reveled in the sounds of the band and the enthusiasm of the young players. She was even escorted onto the field for the pregame and treated like royalty for her special day.
Darlene Gaedike is a huge sports fan. Her favorite teams are the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite her love of baseball, she had never been to a game in person, so our Crossroads team had to remedy that. For her Gift of a Day, they took Darlene to an Oklahoma City Dodgers Baseball game. It was her first time out of the facility in awhile, and she loved being at the game where she received lunch and a Dodgers t-shirt.
Barbara Lombardi might live in the Philadelphia area, but her heart belongs to the NY Giants. For her Gift of a Day, our team put together a fun watch party where her beloved Giants defeated the Washington Commanders. Her Crossroads team provided one of her favorite meals and threw in some Eagles/Giants rivalry humor for fun. It was a great win for Barbara and her team!
Making a Splash
For Vickie Hargrove’s Gift of a Day, her Crossroads care team planned a fun day at the St. Louis Aquarium for her, her husband, and her two granddaughters. The family was able to enjoy walking throughout the aquarium including a visit to Shark Canyon, their 250,000-gallon habitat for sharks and other marine life. Of course, the best part of the day for Vickie was just being able to spend time with her grandchildren and to see them smile.
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