Why I Give by Terry Housinger MD, Board President

"What I’ve found is an organization that has as big of a heart as I could ever imagine."

 There are few things in this world that better define us as humans than our willingness to give of ourselves.  There are few things that feel as good as giving of our time and of our resources to things we believe in.  There are many reasons we give - a belief in a cause or a person, a sense of the needs of others, perhaps because we’ve been touched by an event or maybe just because it feels so darned good.

As a Trauma/General Surgeon I’ve encountered many people near the end of their lives.  I saw many deaths from tragedies.  I am always amazed by how few people and their families are prepared for end-of-life issues.  I saw how many people debilitated by disease and infirmity have exhausted their caregivers.  I discovered how frequently getting sick and hospitalized led to a transition to a nursing home rather than going home because there just weren’t enough resources so that the patient could go back home.       

After seeing so much grief, so many families pushed beyond their limits to care for a weakened love one, and seeing so few people prepared for end-of-life issues, I was struck by the impact end-of-live professionals could have for many of these patients and families that I cared for.  These people are trained to provide respite care for families, are expert in helping patients stay in their homes, and are expert in assisting grieving friends and families work through their pain and the tumult of a death.

When I found out that Hospice SLO provided services that matched the help needed by these groups of patients and that it was free to patients, I knew I had to get involved.  Upon joining the Board of Directors of Hospice SLO, I took the volunteer training classes and dove into the workings of the counselors and care managers.  What I’ve found is an organization that has as big of a heart as I could ever imagine, where contribution to the well-being of our county is beyond counting.  It’s a place where giving of time and money is as easy as anything I’ve ever done.  Supporting the professionals and volunteers who give so much to so many in our community is why I give.