Donors support the golden hour

Kansas City HospiceThere is a moment of warmth, just before the sun slips behind the horizon, when the world is infused with a soft, ethereal glow. Photographers call it the Golden Hour. At Kansas City Hospice, this Golden Hour reflects the moment of life when the warmth of love, goodness, kindness, and beauty reflects back upon our loved ones in their final journey; lighting their path, and guiding them home.

This year, more than ever before, our donors have been the light that has shone in the darkness. Casting a glow of love, kindness, and compassion out into the world so that our friends and neighbors at the end of life did not go it alone. Our donors stood beside them and beside us, and we are so very grateful.

As the pandemic clamped down on our country and on our community, it quickly became clear that in this year we would be making some of the toughest decisions of our lives. How could we keep our caregivers safe, so they could in turn keep our families safe? How could we help families connect with each other at this most precious time of life? And most importantly, how could we meet the needs of seriously ill and dying patients amidst the growing alarm of an unknown and frighteningly contagious disease?

As a team, we met daily — and sometimes hourly — to ensure the needs of each person and family were met with compassion. This hasn’t been easy for us, but it’s never been about us. It is always — always — about how to support each family and work with them to address their unique challenges. An example of this is the story of Ray and Suzy Trowbridge.

We honor veteransRay’s story

In April of this year, Ray was alone in the hospital for 17 long days, unable to see his wife or family due to restrictions brought about by COVID-19. Except for his time in basic training for the Air Force Reserves it was the longest period of time that he had spent without Suzy, his beloved wife of nearly 62 years.

Just like so many others, this brave veteran was left to cope with his illness completely alone in his hospital room. No family–no friends–no one by his side. He didn’t have the disease, but still felt its effects as he was cut off from his loved ones who were unable to visit. Suzy felt just as isolated. Unable to physically be with him, her heart ached with fear and worry. She felt powerless.

Ray knew his life journey was coming to an end and his greatest wish was to die at home surrounded by his loved ones. After 17 days alone, he told Suzy he was ready to come home. She jumped into action, quickly coordinating care from Kansas City Hospice and preparing their home for his arrival.

Golden Hour Campaign

Ray and Suzy Trowbridge

Their dining room – once the site of family dinners and joyful celebrations – became a peaceful place for him to enjoy time with Suzy and other loved ones. He even had the opportunity to participate in Kansas City Hospice’s We Honor Veterans Recognition Ceremony, an opportunity Suzy notes was also meaningful to her and the rest of his family. His wish to die in the peace and comfort of his own home had come true and — surrounded by loved ones — Ray’s Golden Hour slipped away.

A challenging year

As you know, things that were simple just one year ago are no longer so simple. Most people wish to die at home surrounded by their loved ones, and we were grateful that the Trowbridge family trusted us to help make this wish come true for Ray. The gifts of generous donors ensured we could quickly pivot to make sure individuals receive the care they need, while their loved ones are kept safe.

It amazes me to think of what this year has meant for all of us. This shared journey has brought deep lows and important learnings, but has also shown us that together we can face anything.

kansas city hospice houseThrough it all, donors and sponsors have stood by our side. As supply became scarce and costs skyrocketed, their previous gifts helped us to quickly purchase the more than $100,000 in additional (and unanticipated) Personal Protective Equipment we needed to keep our caregivers – and families – safe. Their previous generosity has ensured families can connect with one another through technology and receive important health care and grief support through telehealth.

Too many families are facing poverty, hunger, and homelessness, and those issues become even more complex when they are also seriously ill or dying. The contributions mean that these most fragile community members do not go hungry or without desperately needed care. ‘

The Golden Hour Campaign

All gifts made to Kansas City Hospice go straight to work helping families right here in Kansas City. This giving season, all gifts to the Golden Hour Campaign will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $20,000 by generous donors Charlie and Dottie Ray!

Your kind and compassionate gifts directly help seriously ill individuals and grieving families right here in Kansas City. Would you consider a gift to our Golden Hour giving campaign?

The need for expert, compassionate care has not stopped, and your support means we can always say yes to patients and families who need us, regardless of their resources to pay. Thank you for standing beside us, and for directly helping the most fragile members of our Kansas City community.

Please also consider signing up to be a Sustaining Angel by committing to a recurring donation each month which helps to support the mission of Kansas City Hospice throughout the year.

About Us

The mission of Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care is to bring expert care, peace of mind, comfort, guidance, and hope to people who are affected by life-limiting illness or by grief. Our vision is that each person in our community is valued from life through death and each family is supported in their grief.


  1. jan lea-thompson on December 22, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    The moment I saw the picture of the family in the dining room, I had to acknowledge both with a comment and a gift. Hospice helped 4 family members transition at home, in the dining room. Bless. Angels indeed.

  2. Karen Mische on December 22, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    I would like to donate $150.00 to the matching gift. I’m hoping this goes to the Kansas City hospice home. Please let me know the procedure.
    You all are a blessing to everyone.
    Karen Mische
    After Christmas, I will discuss a monthly gift as well.

    • Wanda Kelsey-Mendez on December 22, 2020 at 4:09 pm

      Thank you! Someone will be in touch shortly. You can donate by phone or use the link in the article to give your gift online. Happy Holidays!

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