During this time of giving thanks, we have much to be grateful for. Above all else, we are most thankful to live and work in a community that believes in giving back.
Each year, the youth of our local 4-H put their prize livestock up for auction at the Calvert County Fair. In 2019 brothers Colby and TJ Ireland began a tradition that has benefitted Calvert Hospice beyond our wildest expectations. Raised in a family who have been livestock farmers for several generations, the boys decided to auction off one of their hogs and donate the proceeds to Calvert Hospice.
On the day of the auction, bidding quickly escalated as Harry the Hospice Hog trotted around the ring. Once bidding closed, Harry was donated back to be auctioned off a second time, and then a third. At the end of the night, our Hospice Hog raised $7,000! Repeating this tradition in 2020 and 2021, Colby and TJ have now raised nearly $23,000 for Calvert Hospice.
Efforts like this mean so much to us, because fundraising is simply critical to our organization. Hospice care is a benefit provided by Medicare and most private insurance plans. Yet oftentimes, insurance payments do not cover all of the expenses of a patient’s care. Therefore, we depend upon additional revenue from fundraisers and community support. Many of our sources of fundraising revenue, especially our signature events, were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic even into 2021. Setbacks in fundraising have had a significant impact on our budget.
We rely now, more than ever, on contributions from kindhearted people like you.
Earlier this year local attorney, Martin Dennis, came by our office on behalf of his client, Mr. Alfonso DeMeo, who had named Calvert Hospice in his will. Mr. Dennis presented our Executive Director, Sarah Simmons, with a check for $76,991.95. Mr. DeMeo left portions of his estate to several charities, and included Calvert Hospice as a tribute to his gratitude for the care that we provided to his mother. We had the honor of caring for Mr. DeMeo years later.
Calvert Hospice takes pride in maintaining an impressive ratio of spending 90% on programs and only 10% on fundraising and administrative costs. It has always been important to us to be good stewards of the money we receive from our valued supporters and it was important to Mr. DeMeo, as well. He selected Calvert Hospice based on his thorough research into our publicly available financial statements.
In the last two years, we have learned so much about ourselves and our ability to shift gears, move in a new direction when necessary, and remain resilient. Despite the challenges that 2020 and 2021 have brought, our small agency is still achieving impressive levels of recognition for the services we provide and the exceptional staff and volunteers that we have here at Calvert Hospice.
- Calvert Hospice is ranked #2 out of all 26 hospices in Maryland on quality patient care, based on Medicare Hospice Quality reporting data.
- Calvert Hospice was the first hospice agency in the country to complete all four rings in the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)’s Quality Connections program. This program recognizes hospice agencies that have prioritized education, innovative projects, and a dedication to high-quality patient and family service.
- Calvert Hospice has maintained our status as a Level 5 partner in the We Honor Veterans program, which is a partnership between NHPCO and the Department of Veterans Affairs that recognizes hospice agencies that provide specialized care to veteran patients.
Our agency has been serving the community for almost forty years and remains the only resource for hospice care in our county. In addition to caring for patients in both hospice and palliative care programs, we provide grief support services to anyone in Calvert County. In fact, our in-school grief support services are available at no charge to students throughout Calvert County Public Schools. Programs like our bereavement services are only possible because of your generosity. Without you, these services would not be possible.
We want to thank you for believing in us and the essential work that we do. We hope that you will continue to support our mission by including your most generous contribution possible.