Memory Tree evokes thoughts of loved ones gone

The Souris Palliative Care committee has begun its 2018 Palliative Care Memory Tree fundraiser. Anyone wishing memorialize the memory of a loved one may consider the purchase of a light for the Memory Tree. Donations are accepted at the Souris Glenwood Civic Centre, at the Souris Health Centre, or with any member of the Palliative Care Committee.

Through Palliative Care Manitoba, the Memory Tree started in 1987 as a special place to help ease the pain of grief during the holiday season. Christmas is traditionally a time of joy for most. But, for those grieving, it can inspire feelings of loss, loneliness and social isolation. Many grieving people feel out of step with the world around them, yet are reluctant to admit their pain. The Memory Tree provides a tangible way to acknowledge and remember the person who has died.  

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The Souris Palliative Care committee will be holding a “tree lighting” ceremony that is open to the public on Friday, December 7 at 3:00 p.m. The tree is located at the Civic Centre and all are welcome to attend.

Funds that are raised through this, and other Souris Palliative Care fundraisers have been used to purchase beds and furnishings for the palliative care rooms at the Souris Health Centre and with items required by Palliative Care clients in hospital, at home or in the Personal Care Home.

“We help fundraise for any type of equipment that will enhance the lives of those in palliative care,” explained Lorraine Couling. “Over the years we have spent thousands of dollars on beds and other items for palliative care. This includes items for the Personal Care Home because some people forget that they are considered palliative care. Anytime you’re buying health equipment, the costs are huge.”

Other costs that are covered by this committee are nurse’s continuing education for palliative care; salaries for sitters for patients who either don't have families or those families can’t be there for them.

The lighting of the Memory Tree is a popular event. “Each year we read out a list of names when we light the tree. We have had about fifty names on the list,” explained Couling. “Christmas is a very difficult time for people who have lost loved ones. It’s just that time of the year, it stirs people. As long as people keep responding to our event, we’ll keep doing it.”

Close to $3000.00 was raised in 2017 and the committee hopes that the support for the Memory Tree will be good for the 2018 campaign.

Board positions run for three to four years and it’s usually a twelve-member board. Committee members include: Lorraine Couling, Kathy Smith, Eva Granger, Lynne Janz, Norma Dodd, Joanne Goodwill, Lori Denbow, Linda Perrin, Karen Maryniuk, Christine Janz, Yvonne Bell, Gerry Hansen, Darcy Donogh, Karen Thomas, Eleanor Hayes, Karen Sobry, Charlotte Parham, Elsie Kruk.

For more information, please contact Lorraine Couling, 204-483-2244 or Kathy Smith, 204-483-2102.


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