Park Hill Presbyterian Church Women, along with Arkansas Hospice volunteers and staff, gathered recently at the North Little Rock church to assemble 225 Easter baskets filled with candy, stuffed toys and various toiletries. This is the 15th year that the group has made the baskets for Arkansas Hospice patients being cared for in their homes, in area nursing homes or in the Arkansas Hospice Ottenheimer Inpatient Center.
Individuals from the church say they it is a practice they have grown accustom to and enjoy doing.
Pastor Gordon Garlington of Park Hill Presbyterian Church said the fellowship does enjoy putting together the baskets.
"Each winter our folks begin gathering all of the items that go into the baskets," said Garlington. "We’re also grateful to several local businesses and medical professionals who donate each year."
Garlington added, "Several members of our church have volunteered with Arkansas Hospice for years. Others have had family members who’ve been recipients of the care Arkansas Hospice offers its patients. They know first-hand what a wonderful ministry it is."
Garlington said each year the church receives thank-you notes from some of the recipients, or family members.
"It makes us grateful to see how much happiness such a simple thing brings to their lives," said Garlington.
Church member Bettye Clemens has been the chief organizer for the project for many years. She said it is a joy to do.
"I’ve had the privilege of delivering baskets to the homes of patients," Clemens said. "Some rarely have visitors except Arkansas Hospice staff and volunteers. It’s a joy to see the look on their faces when you hand them the basket."