For the first time since 2019, volunteers and staff at Heyman Hospice Care at Atrium Health Floyd gathered again Wednesday to continue their tradition of service and gratitude as they prepared Thanksgiving meals for patients and families.
The annual event was postponed in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-19 concerns. But on Wednesday the crowded Activity Room at Heyman Hospice Care was a beehive of activity where to-go boxes were packed with traditional Thanksgiving Day offerings.
The food, made by volunteers and staff members, included turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, green beans, potato salad and corn. Desserts included pound cake, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie and pecan pie.
The food boxes were filled and then delivered to patients and family members served by Heyman Hospice Care.
“Preparing Thanksgiving meals for our hospice families has been a tradition since 2004,” said Casey Blankenship, program director for Heyman Hospice Care. “COVID paused this for the past two years. This year we were excited to be able to come together and continue our tradition. This is a time for our team to fellowship and continue to care for our community. Although it was a very busy morning, there was lots of laughter and friendship shared. This is our way to care for the spirit of those we serve as well as our team.”
The restaurant-like atmosphere was punctuated with cries of “I need some more dressing” and “I’m not trying to be bossy, y’all.” The final count was 102 meals prepared.
David Ragan, who lives in Silver Creek, was one of the volunteers who gave of his time to help in the assembly line. His wife, Sondra, is a registered nurse with the organization.
“This was my first time doing it,” Ragan said. “I like to help out when I can.”
Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center Heyman Hospice Care provides home-based compassionate, comfort-oriented care to patients with a life expectancy of less than six months, serving patients who live in Floyd, Chattooga, Polk, Bartow and Gordon counties.
Staff and volunteers support patients and families with medical care, respite care and social services to reduce stress and improve quality of life. Hospice also offers grief support to help families who have experienced a loss.