AH Photo

Anne Hirlehey is pictured holding her Footprints Project she worked on with Hospice Orillia.
At Hospice Orillia, both staff and volunteers have the opportunity to foster genuine connections with community members and are able to be truly there for those who are at a very vulnerable point in their lives. By supporting others during what can be a very emotional and confusing time, Hospice Orillia helps to guide people through the process of dealing with loss. Together, we can have open conversations about life and death, and assist others through their grief, bereavement and mourning.

One program in particular helps to leave a legacy gift for our clients loved ones once they have died. This program is the Footprints Project. These legacy activities provide individuals and families a space to reflect on special moments, memories, and events that have had an impact on their lives. Legacy activities can also act as gifts to loved ones.

Our volunteers go to the individual’s home (wherever “home” is for them) to assist in legacy activities which can include letter and card writing, audio interviews as well as scrapbooks.

“During this process I felt very comfortable as the girls from Hospice were so accommodating and patient with me as I fumbled with writing as I am totally non-verbal.” Anne, a Footprints Project participant, notes. “This Footprints program gave me the opportunity to leave my family and future grandchildren the information I wanted them to remember about my life and the things that are so important to me.”

Hospice Orillia provides this opportunity at no charge to our clients or their loved ones. We want to ensure that we are able to do our very best in capturing our clients’ stories to the best of our ability. For our clients having the opportunity to see the final project and to gift it to their family before they die is something that many say is one of the most important parts of their end of life journey.

“In time, stories change and when I think of the circle and whispering the sentence at the beginning and the difference it ends up at. I do not want my legacy to be like that. I want my family to have the facts so they can see how important a part they were in my life.” Anne says when asked about her project “When I received the final copy of my book with my colors and symbols and photos I was thrilled. Now my family can keep a part of me that is factual. I believe in time this book will be a comfort to each of them.”

“While we have the time here on earth and such a wonderful tool as the Footprints Project I really think everyone should take advantage of such a wonderful opportunity. I know I did not know where to start but the staff at Hospice Orillia gave me the time and direction I needed to accomplish this task. Now it feels so good to be able to leave my wonderful family with a little part of me.”

The Footprints project has a positive affect on more than just the clients; the volunteers and staff are honoured to be a part of this moment of our clients lives as noted by Stefanie Collins, Visiting Hospice Coordinator and Social Worker for Hospice Orillia.

“The Footprints Project is an amazing program to be a part of. It is a privilege to be witness to the memorable moments in an individuals life and the life lessons they want to pass on to family and friends. All staff and volunteers involved are honoured to help someone share their life story, in whatever way they want it to be told,” Stefanie Collins expressed.

If you would like more information on the Footprints Project, please call Stefanie at 705-325- 0505, ext. 211, visit www.hospiceorillia.ca/footprints or email stefanie@hospiceorillia.ca.

Hospice Orillia is a non-profit organization. For more information, please visit www.hospiceorillia.ca.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment