Letters to the Editor

Comfort for the terminally ill provided by United Way | Letters

I read with delight the article Ounce of prevention, pound of cure in the Journal on May 8th.

United Way of San Juan County plays a vital and frequently un-lauded role in our community: it supports organizations that support us. It does so in such a way that 98 percent of donated money stays in San Juan County.

One of the organizations that it supports, Hospice of San Juan, cares for people who live with the sharp edge of life-limiting illness hanging over their heads. This charitable organization, founded in 1984, provides guidance and support to dying persons and their families.

Hospice of San Juan honors the final stages of life by offering support to people with chronic, debilitating or terminal illness so that they may remain at home and live with comfort and dignity.

San Juan Island, surrounded by the Salish Sea and accessible only by boat or plane, poses challenges to the care of terminally ill patients. In order to best meet the needs of this unusual community, trained volunteers become part of a team working with dying persons, their families, primary caregivers, physicians and home health nurses.

The efforts of Hospice of San Juan help ease the emotional and physical challenges inherent to families, caregivers and patients involved in the process of facing life-limiting conditions in this remote location. The organization is entirely run by volunteers, and all services are free of charge. Because Hospice of San Juan receives no payment for its services, its volunteers are able to provide a wide variety of supportive care.

And because of generous donors in a largely rural and agricultural community, such as United Way, Hospice of San Juan enjoys ongoing success. We are very thankful for the role United Way plays in our community.

Mariluz Villa/Brown Island


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