Seeds of Peace Program at Grace Home

No one wants to need the services of Grace Home, but for many families, hospice care for a loved one is an undeniable reality. However, we are fortunate to have a facility like Grace Home, a 16-bed residential hospice designed specifically for care of the terminally ill and the only residential hospice in Northwest Louisiana, in our community. “Grace Home allowed my father-in-law to pass with peace and dignity surrounded by those he loved,” said Tanya Harville. “The staff was there to assist not only him but our entire family through the end-of-life stages. Grace Home is an invaluable asset to our area, one we are forever grateful for.”

One of the many things that makes Grace Home so special to patients and their families is the Seeds of Peace program, which provides and maintains bird feeders and planter boxes that are placed outside the patients’ windows in hopes of bringing peace and tranquility during their final days. Begun by Kay Nader at St. Joseph Parish in Shreveport, “it’s something to take patients’ minds off their day-to-day situation and enjoy nature,” said Donna Seal of the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, which now administers the program as one of its outreach ministries.
Volunteers fill up bird feeders and weed and water the planter boxes. Airmen and personnel from Barksdale Air Force Base are among the dozens of volunteers. Not surprisingly, volunteers find themselves as blessed by the program as the patients are. As one volunteer posted in the Seeds of Peace Facebook group, “I just came out of [a room] and the patient told me how much she enjoyed watching the people work in the flower boxes outside of her room today. The birds feeding brings her much pleasure so I am able to convey to you the rewards of what the Cathedral ministry means to this beautiful child of God in the last days of her life.”

The volunteers do their best to maintain the feeders and boxes, but being wooden and constantly exposed to the elements, “they need a little TLC,” said Seal. The Seeds of Peace program is currently requesting monetary donations to offset the cost of replacing some of the feeders and planter boxes as well as birdseed and other necessities for maintenance.

If you wish to donate and help continue the Seeds of Peace program, please contact the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans at 318-221-5296.

by Kelly Phelan Powell

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