After canceling the 2020 Richard Hospice House Gala due to the pandemic, The Richard Murphy Hospice House Foundation and the Hammond community are hard at work finalizing plans for the 2021 Richard Murphy Hospice House Gala on December 4th.
Following the death of local businessman Richard Murphy, the Richard Hospice House Foundation was created to provide funding for the families of terminally ill patients who wanted or needed hospice care, but either did not have the insure or funds to cover it.
Not only does the Richard Murphy Hospice House not receive government funding, but the entirety of its funding comes from community donations, volunteers and fundraising at the Richard Murphy Hospice House Gala. This allows the hospice house to home 3 hospice patients at a time, offering them a warm, comforting and relaxing place to call home during their final moments.
“I am on the board of several different charities and this one is just the purest form of charity,” said Board of Trustees Vice President Destin Sims. “People taking care of others when they are dying for no benefit other than to just help people in their final time.”
The Hammond community has been so incredibly generous with their time, money and resources that it has completely blown away all perceived expectations for how a hospice house of this size and status should run.
When they had to cancel the 2020 Richard Murphy Hospice House Gala, the foundation reached out to return the donations and sponsorship funds from the event and each sponsor said to keep it. Without those funds, the hospice house might not have survived the year.
“It is a testament to how our community is,” Sims added. “Other hospice houses have come to look at how we are running and say it can’t be done. This should not work.”
It is because of the Hammond community coming together to support their townspeople that this works. The small town mentality that is missing from so many well-meaning organizations is what allows the hospice house to continue to run the way it does.
“There is something to be said about being in a small town,” shared silent auction committee member Traci Wolfe. “This is not something you would see in a big city. In towns like this people understand the importance of community and taking care of their own.”
The Richard Murphy Hospice House Foundation has become one of the largest non-profit foundations in Southeast Louisiana, and as the creators of the state’s first independent hospice house the foundation will continue to offer their services free of charge to the locals who need it.
As the 2021 Richard Murphy Hospice House Gala approaches, the staff, volunteers and board members of the Richard Murphy Hospice Foundation are breathing a sigh of relief. With the hardships of COVID-19 and Hurricane Ida slowly but surely becoming things of the past, the hospice house can once again begin to relax knowing that the Hammond community is gathering to lend a helping hand.