We won!

Posted February 11, 2016 by hpccr
Categories: advocacy, awareness, fundraising, hospice, special events

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by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager


The “big check”!

Well, we did it!

We beat Denver. I wish when I said “we” I meant our beloved Carolina Panthers, but alas, that was not the case on Sunday night.

But “we”, HPCCR, did beat The Denver Hospice in the food challenge. We went all out, gave it everything we had, and yesterday we were finally awarded victory.

Here’s the breakdown:

HPCCR has approximately 470 full time employees and we donated the equivalent of 115,741 pounds of food, resulting in about 246 pounds of food per FTE. Over the course of the competition week, more than $13,000 was collected in cash donations; the rest collected was in food.

The Denver Hospice, an organization with 313 full time employees, collected 2,143 pounds of food – almost seven pounds per FTE.

In my humble opinion, that’s a sound win.

Yesterday I went to the Second Harvest Food Bank (our chosen donation recipient) to take pictures of our presentation of “the big check”. While there, I had the great fortune to speak with Kay Carter, Executive Director, and Lisa Marie Nisely, Community Development Coordinator. The work they do is absolutely awe-inspiring. There was food stacked everywhere; it’s hard to wrap your mind around the number of people they feed each day.

And here’s something I didn’t really know until just recently — while donations of food are still very helpful, cash donations are actually even better because Second Harvest’s purchasing power is so much stronger than yours or mine.  We might think we’re getting a good deal at the supermarket, but they’ve got partners who allow them to buy at cost. So our donations give Second Harvest the ability to help the community to the fullest extent — more so than the extra canned goods in our pantries. Their impact is massive. It’s fantastic.

So there you have it. I don’t know about you, but I feel somewhat vindicated by our dominating win. Just like the Carolina Panthers, this organization and this community has heart. We love a challenge and we keep pounding at it until victory is within our reach. Unfortunately, from a football perspective, the victory barely slipped out of grasp for the home team this year, but the food challenge went our way and we couldn’t be more proud.

Now where are our rings??


We want to sincerely thank everyone who contributed to this challenge and helped us win — employees, vendors, partners, schools, communities of faith, neighborhoods, businesses, even other hospices in North Carolina. Your support was phenomenal and we are in your debt!  





Drop off food and help us win

Posted February 2, 2016 by hpccr
Categories: awareness, fundraising, hospice, Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region

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by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager

Broncos vs Panthers Hospice spiritHere in the Carolinas, we are bona fide Panthers fanatics! We are so excited that our team is in the Super Bowl that we practically can’t stand it. After all, this game represents competition at its finest. And who doesn’t love a little competition??

Well, turns out HPCCR does. Because the gauntlet has been thrown all the way from Denver and we are up to the challenge. Raring to go. Oh, we are ALL IN!

Here’s the deal: The Denver Hospice and HPCCR will each collect as much food (and non-food items like dish detergent and shampoo) that they can until this Friday, February 5. The hospice that amasses the most items (measured by weight) per full time employee will win.

This is where you come in. YOU can help us win this friendly wager! Not to mention, you can also help us make a difference in our community. We will be taking donations of canned food or household items (list is below) at ANY of our locations between now and this Friday. The heavier the better (remember that weight measurement??) but we’ll take all your offerings! The Second Harvest Food Bank has been apprised of this competition and has kindly offered to come pick up our massive collection of goods at our locations.

Second Harvest is helping out another way too. If you prefer to make a cash/check/credit card donation instead of bringing in items, Second Harvest will give us ‘credit’ for seven pounds of food for every dollar donated.  If this option sounds like the way you want to go, please click here and select SUPER BOWL HOSPICE CHALLENGE where you are asked, “What brought you to the site today?”

It’s as simple as that. Now it’s time to rummage through your cabinets or go to the store and find the heaviest supplies you can (or pull out your credit card to donate).

Because you’ve heard the term “bury the competition”, right? Well, we are going to bury Denver Hospice. In a mountain of food. But, you know, we’ll do it friendly-like. With southern charm. We’ll take that gauntlet and mail it back to Denver with an RC Cola and a Moon Pie. Maybe a bag of grits.

And, oh yeah, GO PANTHERS!


Here’s the list of suggested items. Keep in mind, you can donate items that are not on this list as well:

Canned Meats
Chicken, turkey, ham, beef stew

Canned Fish
Tuna, mackerel, salmon

Canned Vegetables
Beans, corn, potatoes

Canned Fruits
Pears, apples, peaches

Other Items
Peanut butter, pasta, rice, deluxe macaroni & cheese, soup

Non-Food Items
Laundry and dish detergent, shampoo, deodorant, toilet paper, diapers



Fight Panthers withdrawal with soup

Posted January 25, 2016 by hpccr
Categories: awareness, fundraising, hospice, Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, Soup on Sunday

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by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager

Soup on Sunday logo_50Holy cow, it’s a HUGE day here in North Carolina! Our beloved Carolina Panthers clinched the NFC championship last night (in an amazing game) and we’re going to the Super Bowl in Santa Clara in just a few short weeks. We are beside ourselves with excitement!

This whole season has been so much fun. Who knew that when we started winning way back in September, we just weren’t going to stop? (I know, I know, we lost to Atlanta, but who’s counting?) Every Sunday has been riveting (and sometimes downright exhausting) but it led us to that shining moment last night and the potential to be the NFL champions this season. Wow. Just . . .  wow.

But all that’s on February 7th. Now what?

If you’re anything like me, on those Sundays the Panthers don’t play, everything feels weird. Discombobulated.  There are three extra hours to fill and you kind of wander around aimlessly wondering what it is you’re supposed to be doing.

We know what you’re supposed to do this Sunday, with no Panthers to watch. You’re coming to see us. At Soup on Sunday.

That’s right — it’s that time again! We’re hosting our 16th year of the most delicious fundraiser in town. And it won’t conflict at all with your football-viewing schedule.

Soup on Sunday features amazing soups from some of Charlotte’s best restaurants. We’ll have vegetarian soups, soups with chicken and sausage, various chilis and bisques, as well as gumbos and chowders. We have the current list on our website so you can go ahead and start drooling now. And there are usually some last minute delectable additions for those of you who like to be surprised.

But there’s more than just soup. There will be gorgeous, hand-made pottery to choose from, breads from Great Harvest Bread Company, Coca Cola products, and Bojangles sweet tea. And there will be desserts. You can sample different flavors of Nothing Bundt Cakes (or “dangerous circles of heaven” as I call them) and then there’ll also be some serious chocolate temptations; the chefs from the participating culinary schools always come up with some breathtakingly beautiful, sweet creations to rival their scrumptious soups.

panthers superbowlSo instead of wandering around your house, suffering from Panthers withdrawal, come out to Soup on Sunday. But if it makes you feel better (and because old habits die hard), Cam Newton jerseys will be welcomed.


Soup on Sunday takes place THIS SUNDAY, January 31, from 11 am until 2pm at the Phillip L. Van Every Culinary Arts Center on the CPCC campus. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. $30 will gain you general admission and the $40 Soup Lovers’ Special allows you to pick your very own handmade pottery bowl. Call Nancy Cole at 704.335.4312 for more information. All proceeds support the programs and services of Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region.


Awakening a force (to make a dream come true)

Posted January 21, 2016 by hpccr
Categories: advocacy, awareness, end of life, hospice, Hospice & Palliative Care Lake Norman, special events

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by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager


Our patient, Amy, before the movie

The new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, created a world-wide frenzy last month when it debuted. The hype was huge, tickets were scarce, and the trailer made all the die-hard fans desperate to go.

Now imagine if you were one of those die-hard fans but you didn’t know if you’d ever get to see it. That was the case for Amy Theodoropoulos, a 79-year old Hospice & Palliative Care Lake Norman (HPCLN) patient who is one of those uber-loyal Star Wars fans.

Like most hospice patients, Amy isn’t sure what the future holds. And she doesn’t know how long it will take for The Force Awakens to become available outside of the theaters. Considering she’s seen all of the other episodes in the Star Wars saga, she was understandably sad at the thought of missing this latest one. She wistfully told her HPCLN social worker, Catherine, that she wanted to see it but didn’t know if she had enough time left. That’s when Catherine awakened her own force to get things moving in the right direction.


The entire crew with Star Wars masks

Catherine brought up Amy’s predicament to the rest of the hospice team at their weekly meeting. Someone suggested getting in touch with a theater to see what they could offer. After a phone call or two, a local theater came through in a huge way for Catherine. On Friday morning last week (when the theater is usually closed) Amy and her entire family were given their own private viewing of The Force Awakens.

Amy with (clockwise from left) her grandson, daughter-in-law, nurse Cheryl, social worker Catherine, and her son

Amy with (clockwise from left) her grandson, daughter-in-law, nurse Cheryl, social worker Catherine, and her son

I met Amy and her family (her two sons, her daughter-in-law, grandson, and brother), along with social worker Catherine and Amy’s hospice nurse, Cheryl, at the theater to take a few pictures before the show. Everyone was wildly excited, especially Amy’s pre-school aged grandson who was clad head to toe in Star Wars gear. No one had seen the movie previously and, even though the movie has been out for over a month, no one had heard any gossip to ruin the plot’s twists and turns.

After pictures, Amy and her family made themselves comfortable in the empty theater. Not only did they get the entire room to themselves, but they also noshed on free popcorn and soda, thanks to the fantastically generous theater manager.

I didn’t stay for the movie, but according to Catherine, Amy absolutely loved it. She left the theater shaking her head, saying she just couldn’t believe that her wish had come true.

That’s what hospice is all about, folks. It’s about respecting the wishes of our patients and making their lives count every single day we have them under care. It’s making phone calls and appealing to the humanity and generosity of others on behalf of those who need us. It’s helping our patients achieve the little things they thought were no longer possible. We try to awaken a force every day, that’s for sure. In our case, that force is love.


Hospice & Palliative Care Lake Norman is a regional office of Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region providing end-of-life care in North Mecklenburg County, Western Cabarrus County, and Southern Iredell County. For more information, call 704.375.0100 or visit hpccr.org.






Soupuary (and pottery making)

Posted January 14, 2016 by hpccr
Categories: awareness, hospice, Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, Soup on Sunday, special events

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by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve decided to rename January. From now on, it shall be called Soupuary. Because now that Mother Nature has remembered that we apparently don’t live in South America (where, you know, it’s actually supposed to be summer) and has brought back cold temperatures to the Carolinas, a hot bowl of soup is one of best things to look forward to.

January is host to our annual Soup on Sunday. This year, it falls on the last day of Soupuary, the 31st. More details to come about this mind-blowing event in another post, but suffice it to say that many things must get done behind the scenes to be ready that day.

Like the pottery. We’ve already told you about the awesome staff, parents, and kids at Charlotte Country Day School who help us out every year by making creative, fun bowls. Yes, they contribute a huge chunk of what we need, but we still need more of them to fill up those tables in the pottery room.

This is where you come in. Do you harbor a secret artist inside your soul? Can you look at a lump of clay and see a gorgeous bowl that’s yearning to be free? Then we need you!

Come to Carolina Clay Connection (2132 Hawkins Street) this Sunday, Soupuary 17th from 2pm until 4pm for a pottery “play day”. You don’t have to have a lick of experience. Jinny Hargrave, owner, will be there and she’ll help you make an absolute masterpiece for Soup on Sunday. Space is limited, however, so make sure to call (704.376.7221) or email Jinny to reserve your spot.

January (the boring month after the super-exciting holidays) conjures up words like “cold”, “gray”, and “blah”. Soupuary sounds fun. And warm. And delicious. I’m telling ya, I’m on to something here . . .


The Sparkle Lady

Posted January 7, 2016 by hpccr
Categories: awareness, cancer, hospice, volunteering

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by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager

sparkle lady

Robyn Adams, the Sparkle Lady (Photo courtesy of NBC Charlotte)

Sometimes we have great stories about our staff and the extraordinary lengths they go to on behalf of patients. Sometimes we have great stories about our volunteers who constantly make a difference in the lives of our patients. This time we have a great story about a volunteer’s daughter who is making the world a better place in the chemo room.

Frank DeLuise is one of our volunteers. His daughter, Robyn, has been visiting women who are receiving chemotherapy at the Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte. She comes in, dressed to the nines, wearing a bright pink wig, and carrying a basket full of sparkly jewelry. She lets the women choose a bracelet, ring, or other small piece; just a little trinket to brighten what is inarguably an extremely tough day.

Here’s the caveat: Robyn is battling stage four breast cancer herself.

Robyn, a 46-year old single mother of three, was diagnosed last summer. What they thought was a simple cyst turned out to be breast cancer that had spread to her liver and bones. She immediately started treatment.

At first Robyn would wear sweatpants and comfortable clothes. But then she had a change in attitude. And that’s when she became the Sparkle Lady. She says that she decided to, “come dressed up and wear my jewelry and sparkle because cancer can’t take that away. It can take a lot of things away but it can’t take that away.”

The best part? Local Charlotte TV station, WCNC, heard about Robyn and what she was doing. They were so inspired by her compassion and strength they decided to help the cause. They contacted the owners of a jewelry store company, Towne & Reese, who were similarly blown away by Robyn’s efforts. Towne & Reese donated over 150 sparkly items to fill the basket.

So now if you walk into the chemo treatment room at Levine Cancer Institute, you’ll likely see glitter and shine coming from the earlobes, wrists, and fingers of women who may even have a smile on their lips, despite the challenges they face. And that’s how you’ll know the Sparkle Lady has come to call.


You can read more about Robyn’s story on the WCNC web page and on the gofundme page created by Robyn’s father (and our volunteer) Frank DeLuise.

A final message

Posted December 30, 2015 by hpccr
Categories: advocacy, awareness, blog, education, end of life, Facebook, fundraising, hospice, Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, special events, Twitter

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by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager

thank you 2014As we enter the final days of 2015, HPCCR has an important end-of-year message for all of you.

Thank you.

Because of the support from friends, patients we’ve served, and the loved ones of those patients, we have had a wonderful year.  And just so you know, our definition of a wonderful year is being able to make a difference in our community.

What does that look like?  Well, it means helping patients spend their last days, weeks, and months in comfort.  It means being a supportive resource to frightened family members and exhausted caregivers.  It’s educating families about when the time is right for hospice care to give them the benefit of much-needed additional help.  It’s providing grief support to bereaved family members after their loved one has died.  And it’s offering education to our community about end-of-life planning and other equally important topics.

We did all those things in 2015 and we did them with care, compassion, and integrity.

We thank each and every one of you who talked about hospice care and helped us further our mission of spreading the word.  We thank the families who allowed us into their homes; who gave us the honor of caring for their loved ones at such an important time.  We thank those of you who followed us on Facebook and Twitter, kept up-to-date with the goings-on of our organization, and attended our fundraising events.  And we appreciate all of you who read the inspiring stories on this blog, commented on them, or even shared them.

Bottom line?  End-of-life care is a true blessing.  But it takes people accessing it, talking about it, and learning about it so that it can become a more widespread and understood option.  You helped us do that in 2015 and we know that you will continue to do so in the coming year.  For that you have our sincere gratitude.

Best wishes for a wonderful 2016!