The Denison Venture Philanthropy (DVP), a unique Denison University student program organized around philanthropy, has awarded $10,000 and 200 student volunteer hours to Hospice of Central Ohio, a not-for-profit hospice organization. The funding will allow Hospice of Central Ohio to purchase materials and equipment to support its Handmade Items program. Through this program, Hospice of Central Ohio volunteers make handmade gowns, neck pillows, catheter bag covers, lap quilts, shirt savers, hand grips, and activity (busy) blankets.
Hospice of Central Ohio, an affiliate of Ohio’s Hospice, serves nine counties in central Ohio and is dedicated to supporting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and families facing life-limiting illnesses.
Denison University student volunteers will assist in establishing sewing workspaces at Hospice of Central Ohio offices. They will set up tables and sewing machines, as well as plan organizational systems for future production of Handmade Items. They will prep and assemble specific item kits to distribute to other Handmade Items team members for sewing and final assembly. They also will assist with restocking and tracking inventory. During each Handmade Items sewing session, Hospice of Central Ohio will arrange for students to hear from staff members, family members, and others for whom this service has had an impact.
“These items are crucial to our clients,” said Liz Adamshick, manager of Volunteer Services at Hospice of Central Ohio. “Neck pillows provide relief for patients through appropriate repositioning of limbs, reducing the likelihood of skin tears and breakdown. Busy blankets provide dementia patients with activity for their hands and minds, and hand grips provide relief for patients with arthritis and disease-related contractures. Other items provide comfort and convenience for patients and their caregivers, at home or in the community.”
Two student volunteers will have the lead responsibility for the research dimension of this project, working with Hospice of Central Ohio’s Volunteer Services and other hospice staff to collect, analyze and evaluate the clinical data related to the use of the handmade items patients use in their individual Plans of Care. This will be the first time Hospice of Central Ohio has studied the impact of a volunteer-supported service, providing a baseline tool and model for future research of other programs and services it provides to patients and their families.
Since 2008, Denison’s Venture Philanthropy program has awarded annual grants of $10,000 and 200 student volunteer hours to local organizations. Grants for the Denison Venture Philanthropy program are mostly funded through the generosity of David Kuhns, a member of the Denison class of 1968. In 2008, Kuhns challenged Denison students to organize an effort based around philanthropy – but one that also required an investment of student time as well as dollars. The DVP creates strong ties between the college and the community and offers students experience with real-world issues.
An affiliate of Ohio’s Hospice, Hospice of Central Ohio has provided a holistic, community-based approach to hospice care since 1982. With locations in Newark, Columbus, Lancaster and Zanesville, the not-for-profit organization serves nine counties in central Ohio and is dedicated to supporting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and families facing life-limiting illnesses. In addition, two inpatient care centers at Licking Memorial Hospital and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are available for symptom management.