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A world of angels

U.P. Home Health & Hospice raising awareness for National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

Throughout the month of November, the community is welcome to stroll through Harlow Park in downtown Marquette to view the “Honoring Hospice: Living in a World of Angels” display. U.P. Home Health & Hospice says the display is meant to educate the community and uplift spirits during National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. (Journal photo by Ryan Spitza)

MARQUETTE — With November being National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, Marquette County’s U.P. Home Health & Hospice is working to spread awareness through a series of angel displays in the community, as well as virtual and socially distant events.

The theme of the week this year is Faces of Caring, which honors every “angel” who plays a role in providing hospice care, organizers said.

“The idea behind it is that so many people are involved in hospice care,” said Jennie Garrett-Bureau, U.P. Home Health & Hospice executive director and administrator. “From the doctors to the nurses, care aides, bereavement counselors and more. But hospice is about more than just the clinical team, it’s about you. The family, friends and community members that are consistently caring for a loved one.

“As we really began to think about the theme, we realized we had a unique representation with our angels. For the month of November and during these difficult times, we want you to look around and see that you too, live in a world of angels.”

Throughout the month, U.P. Home Health & Hospice and U.P. Hospice Foundation, is aiming to educate the community on hospice and lift the spirits of those who may need it during these turbulent times through a series of events and activities to be held through the end of the month.

“We have many different things that are happening through November,” said Kori Tossava, director of community services for U.P. Home Health & Hospice. “From our standpoint, we understand that the community is going through a stressful time. Our purpose is to accomplish two different things, one, to educate people on hospice and to let them know all of the aspects of it and that it doesn’t always have to be sad or upsetting. The second thing is to lift up the community, encourage people to look around them and see angels among them.

“Angels could be anybody from a veteran, nurse, teacher, grandmother and all the way down to focusing your eye on angels in the community where you haven’t seen them before.”

The centerpiece of the initiative, a display titled “Honoring Hospice: Living in a World of Angels,” can be found at Harlow Park in downtown Marquette.

Volunteers decorated the park with a display of angels that will be up through the end of the month. Organizers encourage the public to stroll through the park for an uplifting and peaceful experience that allows for social distancing.

“It’s a safe thing to do for the community to put that into place,” Tossava said. “It’s easy for people to social distance and encourages people to get outside. It doesn’t collect people in a certain area at any given time. It’s a nice place for people to walk through, they can look at the educational aspects of the display and people can do it in a safe manner.”

An indoor display is also in the works for downtown Marquette’s Ladies Week Out, which is slated for Nov. 15-22. The display can be found inside the Masonic Square Mall and organizers encourage the public to check it out while shopping downtown.

Organizers also recommend decorating your home with angels and going on a scavenger hunt to find angels in the community.

“Put angels in your window, pull out your Christmas decorations or walk around the community,” Tossava said. “There are angels at Picnic Rocks, in stain glass windows at churches and more. We believe that if you start looking for those positive things and finding them, they can bring peace to you as well.”

People who decorate their homes or find an angel within the community are encouraged to post their photos to the World of Angels Facebook page.

Images of angels found in the community can also be emailed to angels@uphomehealth.org.

Organizers kicked off the awareness month with a virtual Marquette County Bells for Hospice event on Nov. 1. It was a virtual service held by U.P. Home Health & Hospice, Lake Superior Life Care & Hospice and the Trillium House — Marquette’s own hospice house — to honor and recognize people who have passed under the care of hospice.

A social media campaign, which encouraged the public post images and messages exemplifying what hospice and palliative care are known for, was held on Nov. 6.

In honor of Veterans Day, patients and families receiving hospice care through U.P. Home Health & Hospice were treated to a private ceremony, lunch and a recognition gift for their service.

Other events this month include a wish list drive for the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans and a virtual screening of “Speaking Grief.”

Additionally, U.P. Home Health & Hospice will give away angel baskets once a week for the remainder of the month via social media.

U.P. Home Health & Hospice officials also promise a surprise in December to conclude this year’s initiative.

To learn more about the scheduled activities and learn how you can become eligible to win an angel basket, visit www.Facebook.com/WorldOfAngels1973.

For more information on U.P. Home Health & Hospice, visit www.uphomehealth.org, call its Marquette office at 906-225-4545 or call its Ishpeming office at 906-485-4545.

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