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Hospice puts focus on future

Jul. 07, 2013 @ 11:15 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Honoring the past and securing the future.

That's the theme behind a new initiative at Hospice of Huntington, designed to care for not only today's patients, but tomorrow's.

The newly established endowment trust at Hospice of Huntington enables the organization's donors to leave a lasting legacy to support and care for future generations. It does not replace traditional giving, but enhances it, according to Karen Dickson, Hospice of Huntington's director of planned giving and major gifts.

"Our tagline for this has been, 'Honor our past and secure our future.' People can not only give to our current needs, but can also give to the endowment," Dickson said. "Giving for today will enhance the current programs and services, and the endowment will allow the principle of investments to grow for years and years to come to serve future generations."

Floyd Harlow, who serves as a trustee for the endowment, said the trust is important because it extends Hospice resources into the future.

"When you think about the impact of Hospice and what they're doing in the community and who they're serving, it's just incredible. But, people think it's going to be around forever," Harlow said. "Without something like what we're trying to do with the trust, there's no way to ensure it'll be here forever. The endowment enables Hospice to be lasting in nature. It answers the question, 'How can we preserve this asset we have in this community?' "

Money donated to the trust will be invested long-term, Harlow explained, with Hospice able to draw from the account's accrued interest without depleting the principle.

"It's a perpetual fund, if you will. If one chooses to give to this endowment trust, your money goes there indefinitely and the earnings from it can be utilized by Hospice for their needs," Harlow said. "When you make a gift to the endowment trust, you know the principle is going to be preserved and pooled with similar gifts to generate a substantial amount of earnings. It's not going to be depleted in one or two years. It's intended to be a lasting legacy."

Hospice, which serves upward of 200 patients every day, according to Harlow, is going to be stretched significantly in the future with the increase in the number of Baby Boomers requiring its services. Hospice of Huntington President and CEO Charlene Farrell said the intent of the endowment is to plan now for future needs.

"Today, we take care of half of the people who die in most of our service area. As we look to the future, we see that taking care of the Baby Boomers is going to be an even bigger challenge," Farrell said. "Hospice of Huntington will be faced with taking care of more people with fewer resources. That is why an ... endowment fund was created, so that we can fund unmet needs for those future generations who have come to depend on Hospice of Huntington."

Dickson said the need for immediate gifts and donations also continues.

"Any gift is significant," she said.

To inquire about the endowment trust, contact Dickson by calling 304-633-2169.

Follow H-D reporter Beth Hendricks on Facebook or Twitter @BethHendricksHD.



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