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Nourishing Body and Soul

The Vargas family

The Vargas family

The Vargas family wanted to do something special for the patients, family and staff at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House after their father died here in March 2011. In 2012, they brought flower arrangements for all our patients. This year, in honor of their father’s birthday, they cooked a delicious Mexican meal. As an added bonus, it started snowing!

Our current families appreciated not having to go out anywhere to find food, and the Vargas family said they loved it because they got snowed in when their father was here.

Three kinds of enchiladas, chicken fajitas, rice and beans – it may sound only like food, but for the patients, families and staff at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House, it was food for the soul. One of our current families was so impressed that they asked our volunteer coordinator Wendy Bixby if they could sign up to provide a luncheon in honor of their loved one!

Feeding Hospice Austin patients, families and staff is always about more than just food – it’s about compassion for families in crisis. Hospice Austin is lucky to have so many kind and generous friends to remind our patients and families that people care.

Below are just some of the meals and treats provided by our thoughtful volunteers:


Patrick & RoseAnn Skrovan with Eileen and Brian Novi

Patrick & RoseAnn Skrovan with Eileen and Brian Novi

New in 2013:

* Luncheon by St. James Episcopal Church

* Luncheon by Friends of Hospice Austin – Dinah Barksdale (Hospice Austin’s Beauty of Life co-chair)

* Christmas Eve Luncheon by Roseann and Patrick Skrovan, Eileen and Brian Novi and Tony Villegas, president of EL Mercado Restaurants

* Jeffrey Schwartz has been baking goodies for Hospice Austin’s Christopher House for one year

Joe Street, Camille Street, Gretchen Baker, Molly Haskell, and Robert McCreight on Thanksgiving Day

Joe Street, Camille Street, Gretchen Baker, Molly Haskell, and Robert McCreight on Thanksgiving Day

Over two years:

* Barton Hills Neighborhood, Garden Club, yoga teacher training, Girl Scout Daisy troop, and Camp Fire Girls have kept our food pantry well stocked.

* Luncheon provided by the Greater Union Baptist Church, coordinated by Shirley Gibson.

* Jimmy Landrum and Bonner Brown have delivered Starbuck’s pastries to our main office for Hospice Austin staff every day for several years.

* Sharon Bright has been baking cookies every couple of weeks for the staff at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House and Hospice Austin-Williamson County for over three years.

Carole Price with Hospice Austin's Carol Marshal

Hospice Austin’s Carol Marshal and Carole Price

Over 10 years:

* With food donated by Whole Foods, Carole Price and her family and friends from the Jewish community have been cooking and serving delicious meals on Christmas Day for more than 10 years.

* The Austin Junior Forum has been providing Halloween luncheons for quite a few years and Valentine luncheons for over 15 years.

* Gretchen Baker has been providing regular luncheons and goodies for Hospice Austin’s Christopher House for over 15 years; she’s been providing luncheons on Thanksgiving Day for 10 years.

The Austin Junior Forum

The Austin Junior Forum

* The URS Corporation has been providing Christmas baskets filled with food and gifts to Hospice Austin families for more than 25 years.


All of these wonderful gifts of time and kindness make a difference in the lives of our patients and families. We received this letter recently from a family member who was given a Christmas basket:

URS - Gayle hugging

The URS Corp. brings a truckload of Christmas baskets for Hospice Austin families every December.

Dear Hospice Austin Volunteers, Thank you, thank you for my 2 bags of food and presents.  When Ellen called me on Christmas Eve about the delivery I couldn’t believe that I was getting a gift since my husband had passed December 13th. I am crying now as I write—we had his memorial service December 21, and our family was still recovering from that when your presents came.  We will enjoy the variety of foods—especially the soups and crackers in this cold weather. I was touched by the Christmas reindeer ornament, the Christmas picture frame, and the pot holders.  These will always be special to me since he passed right before the holidays. I have never been on the receiving end of food and gifts like this and I want to say it feels really good.  I will never forget your time and generosity. I told Ellen I want to become a volunteer … and I mean it.  I hope to be serving with you during the holidays in 2014.


So, kind friends, to all of you who nourish our bodies, please know you are also nourishing our souls. Thank you.



Melinda Marble


Melinda Marble
Communications Coordinator


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