Charity Spotlight: Hospice of Lansing

Cherishing the end of life through vigilant and loving hospice care.

Hospice of Lansing is everything a person might want at the end of their life: family, friends, home, comfort, care, love, great memories, peace. Through compassionate hospice care, they help put the focus back on the quality of life.

In this charity spotlight, I spoke with the Fund Development Director, Heather Vida, and the Executive Director, John Person.

Origin Story

Modern hospice care is still fairly new to the world, not being developed until the 1950s. Nearly a decade later, a hospice movement had started in the U.K. that opened up talk about death and helped provide better care for the incurably ill. It wouldn’t be until 1971 that the United States would see its first hospice.

In 1979, when a group of volunteers started providing care for the terminally ill in Lansing, Michigan, hospice in the United States was still in its infancy. Insurance did not reimburse hospice care and the volunteers helped when they could, typically at the end of their workdays. Their compassion persisted, though, and their dedication to helping people at the end of their lives endured.

This commitment helped Hospice of Lansing to become the first hospice in mid-Michigan and one of the first 100 hospices in the United States.


Hospice of Lansing helps dozens of people of all ages around Lansing every day. Whether they live in a private home, a family member’s home, or assisted living, nurses are happy to provide care wherever is most comfortable and help deliver medication and medical equipment. There is always a nurse on call too.

Trained volunteers are also available to help with daily chores, aid family members, and even provide music and massage therapy. A social worker can also help with financial and legal matters. The hospice care aims to be as comprehensive as possible so families can focus on the quality of their loved one’s life.

There is also in-patient care at the hospice’s Stoneleigh Residence. The beautiful 22-acre estate offers all of the amenities of the in-home care. Each of the eight rooms includes a bed, pullout couch, TV, refrigerator, bathroom, and patio. Extra-wide doors make it easy to move furniture in or out of the room and it’s not uncommon for guests to bring pets.

Big Wins

Every person and family helped becomes many new friendships, stories, and memories. Care doesn’t stop at the end of life for Hospice of Lansing, either. They continue to help the bereaved and build strong connections with loved ones. Every person the hospice can help is a win and they try to help every person they possibly can.

Hospice of Lansing also held their first fundraising breakfast in the spring. It had an immense turnout of 187 people and raised more than $126,000 in gifts and pledges.


Heather would love to help shed some light on many of the myths that surround hospice care. For example, many people still see hospice as a place when it is actually a service. In fact, only eight of the fifty people Hospice of Lansing help every day live at their Stoneleigh Residence! Hospice of Lansing is helping to dispel these myths by giving tours and doing more community outreach.

Short-term funding for daily operations is an ongoing goal as well and longer term, Heather would like to build a stronger endowment for the hospice.

For Nonprofits

If there’s something you are passionate about, try to find someone already doing that before you start something new. The energy and love you give to an existing organization could change lives and will likely make a bigger difference than going alone. Working as a team is a great way to achieve a goal.

For Donors and Volunteers

When it comes to supporting a nonprofit, Heather says “no gift is too small and no volunteer time span is too short.” No matter how you choose to help, it will always go a long way. You just have to take that first step and reach out to the people you want to support.

Get Involved

If you want to learn more about Hospice of Lansing, you can reach them by clicking one of the buttons below.

Photographs Courtesy of Hospice of Lansing.