by Lucie Roy
Heart to Heart Hampers is a project of compassion. The hampers are filled with essential items for those who require immediate access to the basic needs upon admittance to Aspen.
The project started after the recreation team identified a need when a client was transferred out of the hospital and ended up in Morinville, a community they did not know or have ties to and no family or friends in the area.
Aspen House Recreation Therapist Leeza Shymka, Morinville FCSS and Mary Benson, Morinville Senior’s Programmer Community Services have identified the need to be proactive for the future to be able to provide for those when they are in a prohibitive situation.
Shymka emphasized the best care possible is provided at Aspen House, but these hampers contain personal items that anyone would be expected to provide. Some residents do have the items available, but some are without and have no finances in place to purchase the items.
Shymka said there is no rainy day fund for personal items.
Some residents have been admitted with only a hospital gown and they have a Case Manager they just might not have a trustee assigned to manage their affairs.
One individual did not know that when she went to the hospital she would not return to her home again and was sent to Aspen and that is when the individual could have used a Heart to Heart Hamper.
The Heart to Heart Hamper would make residents feel more at home in a facility of caring people.
It was upon inquiring if there was anything available for emergency preparedness when someone gets sent to a community that the project came to be. Four Hampers were provided by Morinville FCSS.
The hampers are not gender specific and include neutral coloured bed sheets, quilt cover, personal hygiene products such as toothpaste, a bar of soap, shampoo, comb, towels, toilet paper, tissues, nail clippers and other personal care items.
The hampers also include a Heart to Heart quilt provided and made by members of the Scrap Happy Quilters.
The request for donations is for items on the hamper list or gift cards to help fill future hampers.
The gift cards could be used to purchase clothing and undergarments if the client arrives and requires a few items.
Shymka said they are very grateful to the Midstream Support Society for all of their support and what they can offer.
The request for items or gift cards is to ensure the continuation of the project and hopefully the community understands the importance of this project and how it can happen to any senior admitted to Aspen.
The hampers filled with essentials is for one time only by new clients at Aspen till the recipient is established at their new location or with some exception.
Organizers estimate they would use maybe three or four hampers per year but want to be prepared now and have supplies on hand for a few more hampers.
Shymka said Aspen does get donations at Christmas time but the need is ongoing and year-round.
Those wishing to contribute can contact Leeza Shymka at Aspen House at 780-939-1297. They are accepting items from the list or gift cards. Cash and cheques are not accepted at this time.