December 1, 2016 – Hillside Centre in Victoria was abuzz this morning as one of Victoria Hospice’s youngest donors (Sophie, age 4) joined elder donor and community philanthropist, Rudi Hoenson, 93, to kick off the annual community event and hang a personalized tribute ornament.
Sophie has been raising funds for Hospice since age two in memory of her beloved grandpa who spent his last few weeks at Victoria Hospice. Rudi, a long-time Hospice supporter is donating $2 for every tribute hung on one of the festive trees or online at the virtual Celebrate A Life tree to help provide care and bereavement support to local families in need.
“Victoria Hospice holds a special place in our hearts,” says Sophie’s mother Erin Dopko. “Sophie had a deep bond with her grandpa and spent loads of time with him at Hospice – playing, reading, and even watching TV.” On her second birthday, Sophie donated a bird feeder to the Victoria Hospice Rooftop Garden; her fourth birthday party featured a game called Coin Drop 4 Hospice, and funds raised were matched by her generous family.
“Each year we give a bit to keep memories close by,” says Dopko. “We want to encourage others to support Victoria Hospice so that other families in need can get the same high-quality care dad received.”
Christmas and the winter holiday season is a difficult time of the year for many people. “Memories of past celebrations with family and friends who are no longer here can magnify feelings of loss,” sasy Victoria Hospice CEO vanThie l. “It can be helpful to share your concerns, feelings and apprehensions with someone. Let people know what is difficult for you, and accept offers of help.”
The event supports Victoria Hospice’s commitment to care through bereavement services offered to family members and friends after a death. The Victoria Hospice website offers useful information for grieving families including Bereavement Tips for Special Holidays.
The festive tree at Hillside is located across from Bombay at Hillside Shopping Centre, near the Shoppers Drug Mart entrance until December 12. You may also hang a tribute on the virtual tree throughout the holiday season.