Inspired by the compassionate care his grandpa received during his final days, a local teen launched a fundraiser for the Sanford Hospice in Fargo.
Seventeen-year-old Sawyer Heger is proof that you’re never too young to make a difference.
To celebrate his grandfather’s memory, and to recognize the tender care he received during his final days, this special West Fargo teen launched a fundraising campaign that raised $3,500 for the Sanford Hospice in Fargo.
Heger’s eyes light up every time he remembers his grandpa, Jim DeVries.
“I gave him the nickname ‘G-pops’ for some reason. I don’t know where that came from,” Heger said, laughing. “I always loved him so much.”
That love, as well as the compassionate care his grandpa received following a sudden heart attack earlier this year, were on Heger’s mind this fall as he prepared for his high school DECA competition. He found himself not just talking, but also writing about the profound loss of his grandpa and his final days at the Sanford Fargo Hospice.
“They’re just really good at taking care of the patient and the family,” Heger said.
Inspired by his grandpa’s memory and the care he received at the end of his life, Heger made the decision to organize a fundraiser to benefit the Sanford Hospice in Fargo. The event, held on Friday, Nov. 17, at Holy Cross Catholic Church, featured a t-shirt sale, a quarter craze auction, and a bake sale that raised $3,500.
Sanford Hospice House Director Liz Weisbrich called Heger an inspiration.
“To have a youth reach out about hospice and want to do a project to raise money for it was incredible,” Weisbrich said. “We always say hospice focuses on the patient, but it’s as much to support the family as well as the patient.”
For Heger, his grandpa was a constant source of kindness and love. The fundraiser was a way to not only celebrate his life, but to ensure his legacy of care lives on.
“My memories of him will always be great,” Heger said.
Amy Hinkemeyer serves as executive director of the Sanford Health Foundation in Fargo. She said Heger’s efforts illustrate the beauty of philanthropy.
“The Sanford Hospice in Fargo is North Dakota’s only inpatient hospice house and provides compassionate care not just for patients, but for their loved ones as well. Thanks to the work of Sawyer, and all those who give, philanthropy is advancing grief and support services, special amenities and programs like We Honor Veterans at the Sanford Hospice,” Hinkemeyer said. “It’s a beautiful thing to witness.”
If you’re inspired by this story and want to support Sanford Hospice initiatives, giving to the Sanford Health Foundation will ensure that 100% of your donation will go to support patients and their families receiving care.
Give the gift of compassion to patients and families at North Dakota’s only inpatient hospice house. Your dollars will help advance grief and support services, special amenities and programs like We Honor Veterans. You can also visit our fundraising page here to see what you can do to raise money like Sawyer!Give for Good