After asking about various charities that can use board games (or are in some way related to board gaming), one suggestion that I had was Hospice House. And, so I followed up with the person that suggested it and asked if they would be willing to share a bit about their experience with Hospice House. So, I would like to share the following write up from Dale Moore:
"Hospice needs games.
It’s been a year since my mother in law has passed away. She ended up losing her fight with endometrial cancer. It was a long fight with a few years of remission, but when it came back it returned with gusto. It spread to the Liver and Bones. We enlisted the help of Hospice. What a wonderful organization. First the family does not pay for the service. What costs above insurance or Medicare is taken care of by the charitable side of hospice.
The Goal of Hospice is to keep you as comfortable as possible during you final stages of a disease that will take your life. They try to keep you at home if they can, but if you are beyond staying at home and your area has one, they will move you to a Hospice house for your final days.
To simply describe a Hospice house, think of it as the nicest nursing home you can think of. Then make it better. The rooms are very nice and clean. The staff is wonderful.
Often times a person moves to a Hospice house when they are in their final days or hours. The family has been called and it’s every body’s final hours with their loved ones. Everyone wants to stay as long as possible to be there.
A Hospice house has large communal waiting areas. Hospice asks for volunteers for many things, one is to cook meals for the families that are waiting. Often there are kids that are there as well. For a kid hours and hours of waiting gets to be very boring and in these lounges is where they often go to get a way for a bit.
Here is where you can help as a board gamer. If you have games you want rid of and you are contemplating a yard sale, donate those intact games to your Hospice house. Those rooms really need a selection of board games that are easy to pick up and fast to learn.
Board gamers tend to also be thrift store shoppers. We are always on the lookout for that rare gem at the local thrift store. We pass over a Scrabble, Monopoly, Life game all the time. I suggest if they are cheap, good condition, and intact pick it up. Your Hospice house would be glad to have it in their lounge area.
Back to my story.
Being a gamer I took a box of games with us. My wife and I played Split for a few hours in my mother in laws room. It was a great distraction for us. I always keep some duplicate simple games in the box. When we left I gave those games to the Hospice. At first the lady behind the counter was confused. This is not a donation they normally get. I explained to them to add them to the Family lounges and she then got very appreciative. "
I would like to thank Dale for sharing, and I must admit that I really think that I need to investigate the local Hospice Houses in my area, as I (like he mentioned) generally have extra games that aren't getting played. But, I was also quite surprised when he said that "the family does not pay for the service." Conveniently, I have a "close relationship" with someone that is very familiar with how Hospice services work (my wife used to work for a Hospice provider), and so I asked her about this. She said that, though Dale's situation isn't always the case, yes, regularly hospices will write-off any expenses beyond what insurance (Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance) will cover.