Taste of the Town volunteer shows Hospice her gratitude

Aug. 18, 2013 @ 03:00 PM

She’s only one volunteer, but when it comes to Hospice of the Piedmont, Terri Creider has enough gratitude in her heart for a hundred volunteers.
“I would do anything to help them — anything,” the Kernersville woman says. “I can never repay them for what they did, because you can’t buy what they gave me. There’s no cost or value to it, because it came from their hearts.”
From the summer of 2010 until the summer of 2011, Hospice of the Piedmont cared for Creider’s dying mother, first at Creider’s home — her mother was living with her — and then at the agency’s residential facility, Hospice Home at High Point.
“The care they gave my mom was outstanding — the best care she ever had,” Creider says. “I will always be indebted to Hospice of the Piedmont for what they did for my mother and my family.”
As a result, Creider is one of more than 200 volunteers working to make this year’s Taste of the Town — the agency’s signature fundraiser — a delicious success. In addition to soliciting donations of items and services for the event’s silent auction, she also makes theme baskets and crocheted items that she donates herself for the event.
Today, she and her daughter, Amy, will be at Oak Hollow Mall — where the 25th Annual Taste of the Town will take place Tuesday evening — helping to set up for the popular fundraiser.
Creider figures it’s the least she can do for Hospice after the agency provided such compassionate care for her mother, Alta “Sis” Michael, who died in July 2011.
Hospice got involved with Creider’s mother about a year earlier. Creider and her husband, Jim, had been caring for her in their home for about 3½ years, following a severe stroke that had paralyzed the left side of her body.
“She had therapy for about a year, but she really regained very little movement on her left side,” Creider recalls. “She was unable to stand, unable to balance, unable to toilet, unable to dress. The only thing she could do was feed herself, if her food was cut up and put right in front of her.”
By April 2010, Michael’s health had begun to fail even more. Doctors said she needed a new pacemaker — her third — and open-heart surgery to replace her aorta, but she was too frail to undergo such surgery. Her kidneys were failing, and she suffered from congestive heart failure.
Meanwhile, the around-the-clock care — even with the occasional hiring of a respite-care agency — had become too much for Creider and her family, so they contacted Hospice of the Piedmont.
“The Lord sent them to me, and they were such a blessing,” Creider says. “It wasn’t just help for my mother — it was help for my family and me.”
Hospice cared for Michael for about seven months, then she was admitted to Hospice Home at High Point in February 2011. She stayed there until her death on July 25 of that year.
“It was a wonderful thing for me because I wasn’t her caregiver anymore — I was her daughter,” Creider recalls.
“I had not been her daughter for years. We were so busy caring for her, doing everything for her, that I didn’t have quality time like I would have liked, but Hospice gave me that time because that caregiver role was taken away.”
Hospice was also a blessing for Creider’s mother, she says.
“The care she got through Hospice was phenomenal,” Creider explains. “I was with her when she passed away, and she had no pain. She did not suffer. She went peacefully. She did not gasp for breath. She just took Jesus’ hand and went.”
The care and compassion Creider saw in the Hospice staff are why she volunteers for the agency today.
“To me, they are the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth,” she says. “That’s what I see in them, and I will forever be indebted to them because of that.”
jtomlin@hpe.com | 888-3579

Want to go?

The 2013 Hospice Taste of the Town — the 25th annual fundraiser for Hospice of the Piedmont — will be held Tuesday, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Oak Hollow Mall.
The event will include samples from 46 area restaurants, caterers and beverage vendors; a silent auction featuring more than 150 items; and musical entertainment by Wally West.
Entry tickets are $10 apiece and include three food “taste” tickets. They are available in advance at all High Point Bank locations or online at www.hospicetaste.com; tickets can also be purchased at the door. Children 6 and younger get in for free.
Additional food “taste” tickets are $1 apiece.
All proceeds will benefit Hospice of the Piedmont.
For more information, call Hospice of the Piedmont at 889-8446 or visit www.hospicetaste.com.