Young S.C. girl makes wishes come true for Hospice

Published 2:58 pm Monday, March 19, 2012

Kristina Miller delivers “wish list” items to Hospice House in Landrum. (photo submitted by Marsha Van Hecke)

by Darlene Cah for HOCF
At 13 years old, Kristina Miller shows a passion for volunteer work and an empathy for people in need you might expect from someone three times her age.
“She’s a very caring child, always has been. Pretty much since she had a personality she’s cared about others. We enjoy having a child that wants to do things for other people, and we encourage her to do that,” said Pam Miller, Kristina’s mother.
In the past, Kristina has volunteered for “Queen for a Day,” an organization that boosts the self-esteem of terminally ill girls. Volunteers help the children forget their illness for a while with fun activities such as make-overs. The pediatric patients even get to be crowned a queen. Kristina has also worked at nursing homes, soup kitchens and other community service activities.
When her great-grandmother suffered two strokes and was admitted to Hospice House, the experience had a great impact on her, Kristina said.
“They did a great job taking care of her and really comforting her, and I wanted to give back,” Kristina said.
Kristina set her plan in motion when her mother told her about volunteer options at Hospice. She recruited her grandmother to post an ad on the bulletin board of her church, Second Baptist in Greer, asking for donations of items on the Hospice Patient Wish List, and the congregation responded.
“We collected soap, toothpaste, hair conditioner, shampoo, lotion and nail files – basically the essentials – and we also donated $200 from that church,” Kristina said.
In addition to her Wish List project, Kristina helps out at Hospice House performing tasks appropriate to her age. You’ll find her there whenever she has a break from her studies at Northwood Middle School in Taylors, S.C.
“I always ask her what she wants to do and coordinate it with Jennifer over at Hospice House. I drop her off and pick her up, encouraging her to help others,” Pam said. “My husband, Richard, and I have always encouraged her.”
So what does this young girl want to do when she gets older?
“I want to be a doctor,” Kristina says.
The experience she has gained as a Hospice volunteer should help her get off to a good start, Hospice officials said.
From hand cream to shaving cream, HoCF is always grateful for the everyday essentials that contribute to the patients’ comfort. If you would like to donate to the HoCF Patient Wish List, or would like to volunteer, call Jean Pearson, volunteer services manager, at 828-894-7000 or 800-617-7132.

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