Volunteers sweeten up Valentine’s for hospice patients

Kent County

BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Volunteers at Faith Hospice spent the week delivering chocolate, a traditional symbol of love on Valentine’s Day, to nearly 300 patients.

Sometimes a small gesture can mean so much for those receiving care.

“I get a little bit done but not like I used to,” said 88-year-old Dorothy Simon-Tibbe.

She used to love to write. These days she spends her time crocheting and talking. She loves to talk.

“Thank you very much. I appreciate being remembered on Valentine’s Day,” Simon-Tibbe said.

Maybe it’s the talking part that makes the chocolate delivery so special for not only Simon-Tibbe but also the volunteers and employees at Faith Hospice’s inpatient care facility at Trillium Woods near Byron Center.

Faith Hospice ta Trillium Woods south of Grand Rapids. (Feb. 13, 2020)

“How can you not like chocolate?” laughed Elaine Martin, who’s been a Faith Hospice volunteer for the past two years. “It’s about sharing joy. And I think for me, my mission here is to help the people that are here, and their families know that we’re here to live and every day is a gift and let’s live it up.”

Patients at Faith Hospice at Trillium Woods south of Grand Rapids received chocolates on Feb. 13, 2020, as an early Valentine’s Day treat.

Simon-Tibbe isn’t letting any days get away. She’s a mother of five, grandmother of 19, great-grandmother of 47 and great-great grandmother of one and she’s loving every day she’s lived.

“Now that I can see the end, I know the end is coming and it’s not bothering me at all because I’ve done the things that I wanted to do,” Simon-Tibbe said.

What she wanted to do today was spread her joy and her chocolate with everyone.

“If you want to open up the candy, you can pass it around,” she said.

Hospice volunteers also delivered candy this week to those receiving hospice services in their own homes.

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