hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

March 20, 2013

Raffle of hand-sewn quilt benefits hospice

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — Every holiday season, Margo Pingree creates a beautiful hand-sewn quilt and raffles it off to benefit a local nonprofit group.

The proceeds from this year’s quilt will support the Merrimack Valley Hospice House in Haverhill.

“The response was overwhelming and netted $850, the largest amount ever,” said Pingree, who is the office manager at Commonwealth Hematology-Oncology in Lawrence, where the quilt was on display. “The Merrimack Valley Hospice House fills such a need in our community and I am happy to support this wonderful organization. Patients, their families and staff all had the opportunity to participate in the raffle and they did so enthusiastically.”

John Albert, president of Merrimack Valley Hospice, said the funds will be used to benefit patients in need of comprehensive end-of-life care at the hospice house, the region’s only in-patient hospice facility.

Merrimack Valley Hospice House opened in June 2009 and is the first licensed inpatient hospice residence servicing the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire. It is the only hospice residence in the region licensed to care for pediatric patients.

The residence, currently expanding to 21 private patient suites, is at 360 North Ave. Each patient suite includes a private dressing area and bathroom, a family sitting area, sleeper-sofa for overnight guests, and private patio with views to surrounding nature. The suites are also equipped with a microwave, refrigerator, flat screen TV, and a CD/DVD player. Common areas include a sanctuary, indoor and outdoor dining areas, libraries, living rooms and common gathering areas, play area for visiting children, spa/massage water therapy treatment room, and gardens and walkways. A remembrance walkway wraps around the house and donations can be made for a brick in memory of a loved one.

The hospice house is staffed with specially trained nurses who provide 24-hour care in collaboration with a team of physicians, aides, social workers, chaplains and volunteers. For more information, visit www.MerrimackValleyHospice.org.