Ann Wheeler Weathers
My connection with the VNA is a strong one, since my mother was a founder of the organization here in Burlington at the turn of the last century. Ever since then the VNA has continued to expand its humanitarian activities, providing nursing service outreach to the entire area. In addition it is now is responsible for Vermont Respite House, which is unbelievable in its environment and loving care for both the patient at the end of his or her life and the relatives.
For more information about the History of the VNA, visit the VNA History page.
Until my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I didn’t truly understand the value of the VNA’s phenomenal hospice program. Then upon the birth of my first child, VNA was there again, sending nurses to our home for newborn and new mother health visits. So when it came time to create my first will, the VNA topped my list of charitable beneficiaries. No other organization offers such friendly, reliable expertise for the big transitions in our lives. I’m so thankful for it.
For more information on including the VNA in your will, visit the Gift Planning page.
Beth Hart, Ph.D.
“I lived in Vermont for a long time but didn’t give much thought to the VNA. I knew what the initials ‘VNA’ stood for, but that was about it.” In 1981, things changed. Dr. Hart’s mother had a stroke while she was visiting from New Jersey, resulting in ongoing difficulties with speech and communication. Mrs. Hart would live with her daughter for the next 12 years of her life.
The Harts’ first contact with the VNA was immediately after Mrs. Hart’s return from the hospital with nursing and physical therapy visits. Mrs. Hart was a very independent woman and she and Dr. Hart were determined to keep her at home. After subsequent mini-strokes, they were grateful for the services provided by VNA’s Care Connection Program. Caregivers would visit on a regular basis to help with daily tasks, maintain safety, and provide companionship. In 1993, after another serious stroke, the VNA Hospice program became an integral part of the Hart’s lives. “I have absolutely no idea how I would have gotten through without them,” said Dr. Hart. “The hospice staff and the volunteers are just outstanding people. Their support was so important.” “Caring for my Mother was an extremely meaningful experience for me,” said Dr. Hart. “After her death, there was a great void in my life. The silence was deafening.” Dr. Hart credits Hospice’s annual memorial services and the Hospice Volunteer Training as offerings that helped her. She realized that she would like to help someone else and so she became a VNA volunteer, visiting one homebound woman, who had been serviced by the VNA for many years. They became dear friends.
“It’s important to have the VNA continue even after we’re all gone. It’s especially important now in these financial times,” said Dr. Hart. Dr. Hart felt that a significant gift from her to the VNA was overdue but being just retired, she needed to consider it carefully. In 2004, Dr. Hart was one of the first individuals to purchase a Charitable Gift Annuity through the VNA. A gift annuity provides a steady income for the donor and benefits the VNA upon their death or at a specified time.
For more information on establishing a Charitable Gift Annuity with the VNA, visit the Gift Planning page.