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Health, Wealth and Heroes

Health, Wealth and HeroesAs a child, our heroes are usually fictional characters like Superman, Batman, or Spiderman. They leap tall buildings in a single bound and fight villains with incredible power and strength. Best of all, they swoop in to help someone in need, just when all hope is lost.

As we grow older, we learn that real heroes are something quite different. They don’t fly through the air or run faster than a speeding bullet. Often, they are ordinary people who do extraordinary things by giving their time, talent and treasure to non-profit organizations. They are “givers” and non-profit organizations rely on the help of these volunteer and donor heroes to provide much-needed programs and services within their local community.

Giving is not just good for those served by non-profit organizations – it’s also beneficial for the giver too! Studies show there are many wonderful health benefits associated with giving, including:
• Longer life
• Greater happiness
• Lower blood pressure
• Less depression
• Reduced stress levels
• Higher self-esteem

According to one study, people who were 55 and older who volunteered for two or more organizations were 44 percent less likely to die over a five-year period than those who didn’t volunteer. Another study looked at the functional MRIs of subjects who gave to various charities and found that giving stimulates the brain and releases endorphins, creating what is known as the “helper’s high.”

Health is Wealth
So what happens we are not healthy? The rising cost of healthcare is a major concern for many Americans. When families are struggling financially, a loved one with a life-limiting illness brings additional stress and anxiety. Feeling trapped between choosing physical wellness and financial wellness, families in Pasco County are relieved when they learn Gulfside Hospice is ready to help.

The Charity Care program at Gulfside Hospice helps more than 550 hospice patients every day receive compassionate care regardless of their ability to pay for that care. With 14% of Pasco County families reporting they don’t have insurance, Gulfside’s Charity Care program is vital to helping uninsured people receive medicines, medical equipment, nursing care, counseling, spiritual care and bereavement support when they need it most.

Funded by businesses, organizations, and individuals, this incredible program ensures that no one is ever turned away due to an inability to pay. Only donations make this possible.

“Have you helped someone today?”
That’s what Amber Dimalanta, a member of the Chrome Divas, asked herself. The Chrome Divas are a diverse group of women motorcycling enthusiasts who ride together and have raised funds for many local organizations, including Gulfside Hospice. For her, giving is a personal way to offer thanks for hospice care provided to her family.

Amber is motivated by the memory of her father. “I came to realize how important hospice is to families during the passing of my Dad,” said Amber. “Although we were adults, my brother and I really didn’t know how to react to the passing of our hero Dad. Hospice took over and led the way for us.”

Freddie Moretti turned a newfound talent into a treasure to help Gulfside Hospice patients. When Freddie fell in love with pottery, his garage became filled with his creations. When considering what to do with them, Freddie remembered how hospice cared for his mother and chose to sell his pottery at a local craft fair to collect donations for Gulfside Hospice.

In his heart, Freddie felt it was important for him to give back to hospice and have fun doing it. “Everyone involved in hospice is pleasant. Caring for elderly people is difficult and I don’t know how they do it,” Freddie said. “Giving back with my pottery is a great way for me to enjoy my hobby without needing anything in return.”

Be a Hero – Make giving your New Year’s resolution
Giving is good for you and for your community. Here is how you can become a Hero and reap the rewards of health and wellness for yourself too.
• Volunteer your time and talent to support a cause you care about in your community.
• Make donations to non-profits like Gulfside Hospice. No gift is too small and every gift makes a difference.

Remember – there are many different ways you can donate, including:
• Cash
• Gifts of stock
• IRA/401K distributions
• Naming as a beneficiary in your estate plans,
insurance policies or bank accounts

To learn more about Gulfside Hospice and how you can help, please contact Carla Armstrong, Director of Philanthropy, at 727-845-5707 or carla.armstrong@gulfside.org or visit www.gulfside.org.

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