News & Stories

   Hospice Caring newsletter, Summer 2013

   Hospice Caring newsletter, Spring 2013
   Hospice Caring newsletter, Summer 2012

   Hospice Caring newsletter, Winter 2012

   Hospice Caring newsletter, Summer 2011
   Caring Connections (Hospice Caring newsletter), Winter 2011

   Hospice Caring newsletter, Summer 2010

   The Dove (Hospice Caring newsletter), February 2009
The Dove (Hospice Caring newsletter), August 2008

In the News--news about Hospice Caring    

  November 15, 2013:  Hospice Caring outreach table at the Montgomery Village New Residents Welcome Reception -- Hospice Caring trustee Sara Harris and her husband Jim represented Hospice Caring at the recent Welcome Night event in Montgomery Village, and they were featured on the front page of the Village News.  (Montgomery Village News)

 October 2013: Hospice Caring Celebrates New Children’s Garden and Rose Garden (Bethesda Magazine.com)

 September 19, 2013: Hospice Caring’s Penny Gladhill, one of the founders of Hospice Caring, and Monica Czaplinski, a long-time Hospice Caring volunteer, were one of the 16 non-profit organizations in the non-profit showcase at the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce's (GGCC) Annual Picnic and Volunteer Recognition on September 19, 2013. The GGCC showed its commitment to volunteerism by giving its non-profit members the opportunity to showcase their organizations and communicate their role in our business community.

 September 2013:  Gaithersburg’s Hospice Caring starts book of memories as tribute to deceased (Gazette.net)

  August 2013:  Hospice Caring is honored to be the first grant recipient, eWomen Network Montgomery, from the eWomen Network Foundation. The grant was presented to Jeannette Mendonca, Executive Director, Hospice Caring at the eWomen Network International Conference and Business Expo in Dallas Texas on August 9, 2013.
e-women photo








   August 2013: Montgomery County newsletter page -- Hospice Caring was featured as the agency spotlight for August.

  July 2013: Hospice Caring is honored to have been a charity beneficiary from the final week of O'Donnell's landmark restaurant.  We are grateful to Bill Edelblut and his family for their generosity and support of our mission.

  July 2013: Leadership Montgomery chose Hospice Caring as "Nonprofit of the Month" -- Leadership Mongtomery's vision is to educate, connect, and inspire leaders to improve our community. Jeannette Mendonca, Hospice Caring's Executive Director, has been selected for the core class for Leadership Montgomery for 2014.

   June 11, 2013: Montgomery County Public Schools Bulletin, Counselors of the Year -- Honored school counselor Victoria Leahy Jones helps Hospice Caring bring the Good Grief children's bereavement program to the North Chevy Chase Elementary School.

    May/June 2013: Volunteer Lisa Creamer nominated for ATHENA award, Brooke Grove Village Retirement News 

    April 2013: Landscaper Dedicates Garden at Hospice Caring, Gazette.

   March 26, 2013, The Town Courier, The City Scene page: Hospice to Add Children's Garden -- Hospice Caring, Inc., the only non-medical hospice in the Montgomery County area, is adding a Children’s Garden to memorialize childhood. The Garden has received many donations from the community including miniature benches, a moongate, and roses. The Garden will be unveiled at a ceremony on March 28. “We sincerely thank you,” Mayor Sidney Katz told Executive Director Jeannette Mendonca at the March 4 mayor and Council meeting. “You’re certainly there when people need you. Families do sincerely appreciate the work that you’re doing and … all the volunteers.”

   November 2012: Hospice Caring chosen as a Winter Lights charity --“We are honored to have been chosen as a Winter Lights charity recipient and greatly appreciate the City of Gaithersburg's belief in our mission.” - Jeannette Mendonca, Executive Director, Hospice Caring, Inc.

    Sept. 2012: Hospice Caring is proud to have been selected to be a participant in the United Way Emerging Leaders Program. Jessica Fulton completed the United Way training in June and serves as our Board Intern. She is the Outreach Director for the DC Fiscal Policy Institute.  Jessica brings perspective and new ideas to our organization.

     GreatNonprofits: GreatNonprofits rated Hospice Caring as a 2012 Top-Rated Children and Families Nonprofit. Access the Hospice Caring page on the GreatNonprofits web site at the following link:

    Jan./Feb. 2012: Open Hearts, Open Doors -- Hospice Caring Offers Help and Hope (Montgomery Magazine)

      Dec. 1, 2011: Carl M. Freeman Foundation’s FACES grant -- Hospice Caring is honored to be a recipient of the 2011 Carl M. Freeman Foundation’s FACES grant (Freeman Foundation Assists Communities with Extra Support) to fund our Patient and Family Program Services. The award check was presented by Michelle D. Freeman, Chairman and President, to Jeannette Mendonca, Executive Director for Hospice Caring, at the Foundation’s reception on December 1, 2011.

     Nov. 17, 2011: Hospice Caring's living evergreen Tree of Love was planted in Bohrer Park, just downhill from the Hospice Caring Cottage.

     Nov. 2, 2011: Hospice Caring director honored (Gazette.net)

    Jeannette Mendonca of Damascus, executive director of Hospice Caring Inc. of Gaithersburg, was honored for her distinguished performance. Former State Sen. Rona Kramer presented Mendonca with the Marie Ferington Social Action Award on Oct. 21 at the District 14 Democratic Club Annual Black Tie Awards Dinner, which was held at The Inn at Brookeville Farms. The award recognizes Mendonca’s extraordinary and distinguished performance and included a citation from the Maryland General Assembly, a certificate of recognition and appreciation from County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) and a special commemorative poem by former Hospice Caring executive director Lisa McKillop.

     Oct. 12, 2011: WUSA9 television anchor JC Hayward interviews Hospice Caring executive director Jeannette Mendonca

     Oct. 3, 2011:
Hospice Caring gala to invoke ‘Roaring Twenties’ theme

     Sept.14, 2011: A Symbol of Hope (Gazette)

     Sept. 3, 2011: ‘Wings of Caring’ brings special meaning to participants  (Gazette)

     August 2011 was Hospice Caring Month in the City of Gaithersburg
- On August 1, 2011, Mayor Sidney A. Katz presented Hospice Caring's Executive Director, Jeannette Mendonca, with a proclamation certificate designating August 2011 as "Hospice Caring Month" in the City of Gaithersburg. The certificate cites that the proclamation is given "in recognition of your commitment and ongoing efforts to offer exceptional, compassionate service and in appreciation of the many dedicated volunteers that provide comfortable and dignified care and support to families in our community facing life-threatening illnesses."

    May 2011: Damascus women lead hospice volunteers   

    May 2011: Mendonca finds calling helping others deal with grief (Gazette online)

    Apr. 2011: Hospice Caring featured in Montgomery Village

    Spring 2011: Hospice Caring in Business Review Services

    Dec. 2010: Grief support groups meet to get through holidays

    Sept. 2009: Butterfly release helps loved ones say goodbye

    Mar. 2009: Grief relief for children (Gazette)


Patient & Family Storiesholding hands

On November 19, the Patient and Family program got a call from a hospital's Cancer Navigator about a 38-year old patient. This young woman, with no family, had been battling breast cancer for five years, and the cancer was now in her lung and brain. She had no support and needed someone to take her home from the hospital and transportation for her scheduled radiation appointments, which were to start right away. 

Hospice Caring went to the hospital immediately to meet her. Her smile was contagious, and she could not believe that we were there to support her. Transportation was provided for all her scheduled radiation treatments, and a food service was put in place that would deliver her meals five days a week. We went with her to see her oncologist to find out what is next for her. She was frightened and tired but was not alone. Many tests still need to be completed, and we will be with her. Her prognosis is not good, but she is a fighter and whatever she decides, she knows that someone cares and will share her journey. Hospice Caring is the only organization that can be called to support this patient and her needs. Our mission is for her, and our volunteers are honored to share her journey.

From Family Members:

“It is challenging to trust in individuals. But I noticed how gracious and trustworthy the staff of volunteers is….I have peace of mind every time a volunteer is assisting my wife while I am at work…You are an excellent and honest steward of the resources entrusted to you from contributors.” (December 2009)

“Thank you for your loving, compassionate support before and after my father died. We are really enjoying the delicious bereavement bread.” (May 2009)

“Nearly all our club members have used your services in the past, and know the kind, wonderful comfort you and  your volunteers bring to frightened and grieving hearts.” (March 2009)

“Our family lived in South Carolina and our dad was in a nursing home in Potomac, Maryland. HCI called us and kept us updated, listened to our concerns, and didn’t mind our tears. You were able to locate a volunteer that was from the small beach town. They made this most difficult time bearable. Thank you so much. You were a true blessing.”

“We deeply appreciate and wish to thank you for all the help, comfort, and support you gave to my husband, our children, and most of all myself. It is very comforting to know there are people like you….continue helping.”

“Thank you for donating to Hospice Caring in my mother’s name…I now have experienced Hospice Caring first hand—and the kindness and dignity they provide the patient and the family at the end of life is such a valuable service.”

“It was wonderful to know we could count on you for shopping and running errands when our son was in the hospital. It was a tremendous help at a difficult time! As you know, our son completed his last radiation treatment on Thanksgiving and is doing well now. Thinking about all that he went through last year is sometimes painful, but we want you to know that your kind support definitely helped us make it through…Thank you!” (January 2009)

“Can you believe it has been one year? Time does help the healing process. Words cannot express my deep appreciation to you and Hospice Caring for your unconditional support.” (March 2008)

“There is no way to thank you for your wonderful help. Particular thanks to your volunteers who made an intolerable situation more bearable.”

“What wonderful people you are to go out of your way for strangers. God bless you all.” 

“Hospice Caring has been an immense gift in our lives…Bless each one of you for the beautiful generosity of spirit and your willingness to be with families at such traumatic times. It’s a great work you do. With love and gratitude.”

"Dad was too practical a person to ever believe in angels, but I have seen them and they look like you."

"I truly appreciate all the help you gave to me when I was so desperate. You helped me more than anyone. Thank you so much."

“I cannot express how important this was to the family, because it allowed Dad his most fervent wish, to live out his final days, and to die, at home.”

“It was only with your ‘caring,’ compassion and support that we were able to fulfill my Mom’s final wishes.”

Camp Caring Little Buddy Storiesbear in tree

"I learned that our loved ones are always with us even though it will never be exactly the same again."

"I learned how to express my feelings."

"I liked making the pen in memory of my father. It was like having my dad looking down on me."

"It is okay to cry or be sad."

"I learned about ways to cope and that other kids have had loved ones who died."

"I liked having a Big Buddy."

"My Big Buddy helped me to be happy not sad."

Good Grief Club Stories3 bears

This story is about one success in our youth bereavement programs, which are designed for immediate and long-term impact. In 2002, Amelia’s father died, and, as a grieving and hurting 13-year-old, she joined Hospice Caring’s Good Grief Club. By sharing their experiences, the teens in her group were able to support, comfort, and care for each other. Amelia learned that she will always miss her father, but she also learned something else….that she could use her experience to help other grieving children.

In 2004, Amelia lit a candle for her father at our annual Tree of Love event. In 2005, Amelia helped out as a "Go-For" at our yearly Camp Caring, a grief camp for 8- to 12-year-olds. During her junior year of high school, Amelia enlisted the aid of three of her classmates to sort, inventory, and repack all the Camp Caring supplies. In the summer of 2006, between her junior and senior year, Amelia worked as an intern in Hospice Caring’s Children’s Bereavement Program. For her service, The Nancy Dworkin Youth Helping Youth Achievement Award was given to Amelia in the winter of 2006.

From the Students:

"There is nothing good about losing someone you love, but that doesn’t mean something good can’t come out of it" (14 years old).

 "I was heard."

"I know now that I am not alone."

"I learned lots of ways to take my grief out."

"I liked talking to other people who had similar experiences."

"I learned that it’s bad to take out your stress on other people or on myself."

"I’ve learned that everybody has their own way of dealing with this--and that’s okay."

"...you helped me by helping me understand grief."

"I can talk about my aunt and for that I feel happy. I wish I could stay more in the group because I like the group because I can talk about my aunt. "

I want to extend the program."

"I wish there could be another group! It made me feel better."

" I cried so much the first time I came (to the meeting) and felt really stupid. But now I’m really glad I joined and it made me feel so much better!"

"They listened to my story about my grandmother."

"Sometimes it feels like a cyclone is going on inside of me."

"I wonder where I’d be without this group. Oh, I know. I’d be crying my eyes out all the time - just like I was before!"

From School Counselors:

"Seeing high-school students open their hearts and be empathic to their fellow students gives hope for now and the future."

Forest Oak Middle School: "This was an extremely well-run group. The facilitator was well-prepared, and the students responded well to her."

Watkins Mill Elementary School: "The facilitator was fantastic!"

Newport Mill Middle School: "The Hospice Caring Good Grief Club facilitator was great. She showed great interest in each of the students. She followed through with me on each one that she had concerns about. She was flexible with everything and believe me every week there were changes!!"

Cashell Elementary School: "I would like to extend our sincere gratitude for your organization's support during a very difficult year at Cashell Elem. School. This year, several students and one faculty member lost close relatives. Thanks to [your facilitator] and the Good Grief Club made possible through Hospice Caring, we were able to cope with these tremendous losses. [Your facilitator] was absolutely wonderful, and our students responded well to her. Each week, the students skipped down to the guidance office, eager to participate in [her] lessons. Given the nature of the topics [she] had to cover, I feel that our student's enthusiasm was a testament to her sensitivity and dedication."

Adult Bereavement Storiesflower

"The support and affection of these two facilitators and the group members has been a lifeline for me that I could have found nowhere else. We are like a family, and it feels comforting and safe to be with them."

"All the money in the world cannot pay for the wonderful free services that Hospice Caring offers."

"The support group meetings have helped us tremendously throughout our grieving process. Without it, we wouldn't be at the level of coping that we are now."

"Could not have made life these last 10 months without this group."

"I feel as though I can breathe there."

"The group has helped me realize/identify the feelings I am having as well as the similarity of all our feelings of grief'."

"Helped in countless ways: from the emotional, to the practical, to the spiritual aspects of grief."

"It has helped me move into the future."

After the death of her father from lung cancer in January, Gail stayed with her mother for three weeks to help with paperwork. She returned to her home in Gaithersburg and returned to her normal routine, but in May, severe mental fatigue hit her. “I could barely function doing everyday tasks, and I was stuck on the inside. I needed help,” she says. That’s when she called Hospice Caring and signed up for the parent loss support group. “I don’t usually work through feelings by talking. But the facilitators coaxed me to explore my grief. Week by week, I loosened grief’s grip on my life. I’ve accepted that the grief could be with me awhile. Hospice Caring showed me how to keep moving.” – Gail, 2009


"My mom passed away in July of 2005, and she unknowingly gave me the gift of Hospice Caring. Hospice folks in New York asked me if I would like bereavement counseling and provided me with the names of a couple of places in Maryland--Hospice Caring was the one that could accommodate me almost immediately. I still recall how at my first meeting, I sat attached to a box of tissues on my lap, trying to convey the full depth of my absolute despair. Life grew less painful and the weekly sessions I attended not only helped me to feel better, but to have a much greater intellectual understanding of grief. Now I co-facilitate adult bereavement groups because I think I can share some insights and extend my empathy. Not too long ago I was leaving work and mentioned to a colleague that I was off to facilitate my group at Hospice Caring. She responded by saying, "Oh, how depressing." I was truly startled because it is not at all how I feel!  I find my work in adult bereavement very grounding and rewarding. It has made me a much better listener. It helps me put life in perspective."

For more information,
call 301-869-HOPE (4673)

Hospice Caring, Inc.

Holding Hands and Healing Hearts

Hospice Caring, Inc. | 518 South Frederick Avenue| Gaithersburg, MD 20877 | Serving Montgomery County since 1989
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