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Domus Pacis Family Respite

Domus Pacis is committed to bringing patients and families together when most needed... to gives individuals an opportunity to share their talents and treasure in very personal ways. We encourage you to make recurring gifts of any amount, joining our Monthly Donations bring Years of Smiles Club.

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Stone Soup Initiative

Class

Community Development 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Families
People/Families of People with Cancer
People/Families of People with Health Conditions

Description

The Stone Soup Initiative is based on the old folk story about the value of sharing. In the story, each member of a village brought one ingredient to a pot of boiling water that contained a simple stone. Individually, the villagers only had a meager, solitary ingredient but after each one contributed to the pot, the villagers found that together, they had created a bountiful, flavorful soup which everyone could enjoy. Domus Pacis ia always looking for individuals to come together to form their own "village" to create their special "soup" for Domus Pacis families on respite in the mountains. We have found individuals that initiate a group get-together, join an existing stone soup gathering, or recruit new hands to share in this wonderful experience of giving.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The recipients of the foods, both our visiting and local Domus Pacis families, "taste" the kindness of our community; and, when the personal notes of thanks written by the families are read, the impact of the Stone Soup Initiative truly allows our community members to know that their service REALLY matters!

Week-long Mountain Respite stays for families impacted by a cancer or another life-limiting diagnosis

Class

Human Services 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)
Families
People/Families of People with Cancer
People/Families of People with Health Conditions

Description

Our most impactful program is our primary mission; that is, to provide a week of respite and an environment of peace for families on an exhausting cancer journey. A family decides what is needed at their stage of the journey … it may be time to rest, reflect, rejuvenate, create memories , share last thoughts and wishes. Whatever their choice, the week has been shown to be a powerful experience, with amazing impacts that positively amplify as time goes on.

The fundamental program consists of offering to cancer patients (and their families), prescreened by the health care professionals, a week in Summit County which includes appropriate housing, logistics, 24/7 contact staff person, and discounts to various Summit County establishments and activities.

Just as crucial, DPFR gives the community an opportunity to share their time, talents and treasure in very personal ways. Everyone can participate and contribute something of themselves, making baked goods for the welcome baskets, cooking meals (so the mom's have a respite from meal planning and preparations), business can share their under-utilized equipment/services and property owners can donate those vacant, non-income earning rental weeks to a greater good...family to family.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Domus Pacis Family Respite has grown from serving 8 families in 2008, to serving over 150 families in 2018, on track to serve as many as 150 in 2019. In 2018, over 10 home donors gifted the usage of accommodations, 90 businesses agreed to donate services, dinners and activities and over 100 volunteers signed up to provide home-cooked meals and participate in activities with the respite families. The number of health professionals nominating patients has grown exponentially since 2008.

Key recent accomplishments:
• Again nominated for Summit Chamber Outstanding Customer Service Champion Award
• Expanded referral partnerships to provide respites to Central Mountain residents in cancer treatment as well as Western Slopes
• Launched web-based family application providing great flexibility for patient and family members to apply and greatly increased DPFR staff efficiency
• Involved several youth groups such as the Girl Scouts, Sunday Schools, Vacation Bible Camps, etc.
• Formalized Domus Pacis Family concert series; our working community truly appreciate the family-friendly, affordable entertainment offerings of the tribute bands
• Worked with local businesses on "team building" opportunities; mainly having them participate in Food for Families Friday and/or other individualized opportunities.

Just as profound is the impact the program has on our community members asked to be of service to these "strangers" we host. Given that they will never meet again, our volunteers and business supporters unanimously relate what a powerful gift Domus Pacis has given them… a venue to share their blessings. Many state that being a part of our Domus Pacis team gives them purpose.

Food for Families Friday

Class

Human Services 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Families
People/Families of People with Cancer
People/Families of People with Health Conditions
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

The idea of the Food for Families Friday (FFF) program evolved out of a need to provide additional meals to Domus Pacis out-of-county families, plus provide support to local Summit County families impacted by cancer. In addition many residents, new to the county as well as long-time, newly retired residents, were looking for ways to be philanthropic in a communal way.

The program consists of coordinating a group of volunteers that meet one Friday a month at the Summit County Community & Senior Center to prepare large quantities of food such as chili, soups, casseroles, desserts, snacks, breakfast burritos, etc. to be distributed to Domus Pacis families and local Summit County cancer patients.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The Food for Families Friday (FFF) program has earned strong volunteer support and growth because it provides our residents, across all ages, skills, social, economic levels, the opportunity to give to those who are devastated by a cancer diagnosis, local residents and guests alike. Cancer is a disease for which no one is immune and most of us have been/will be touched by in some way; Summit County residents want to help, though not all the volunteers are prepared to emotionally interact with the respite families we serve. Thus, FFF provides local residents an avenue to assist in a comfortable yet extremely powerful way.
A well-known restaurateur, as a tribute to his wife, his kids and the community who stood by them during his wife's battle with cancer, has joined our dedicated team. Not only does he create recipes tailored to the special needs of our respite families, he also has expanded our monthly gatherings to training the attendees on how to cook fresh, healthy and delicious meals. Those that participate are drawn to the FFF program because they know that the meals they prepare in this communal and social effort allows the DPFR participants and our blessed community to be linked. The connection of feeding a family member's bodies so they have the time needed to be focused on each other, creating memories, is a very powerful and soulful experience for community members.
FFF is a representation of Humanity, defined as the ability to love, have compassion, being creative.

Food & Hugs

Class

Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Families
Parents
People/Families of People with Cancer
People/Families of People with Health Conditions

Description

Every Domus Pacis respite family that has had the opportunity of a respite stay will attest to the compassionate nature of our community. And our community members who have visited with a family receive a powerful gift of knowing first-hand the huge impact their act of kindness has on a family -- therefore the Food & Hugs program was created to provide more community members with a variety of ways to serve.

A cadre of volunteers, young and young-at-heart, continually seek out Domus Pacis.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The Feed-a-family volunteer opportunity was created to allow more of the Summit County residents this experience by preparing and personally delivering a warm meal to a family, giving and getting hugs. We always need adults/families to be our extra hugging arms serving as Feed-a-family volunteers delivering either a welcome or mid-week meal for a family to enjoy during their respite stay.

During Domus Pacis' inaugural year the volunteers that made meals and baked goods for the visiting families expressed the desire to be more involved with the families during their Summit County stays. Several solo volunteers flushed out a plan to adopt/foster a Domus Pacis family, enlisting a circle of friends who would work together planning for an individual family's respite stay. This grassroots' initiative, Foster-A-Family (FAF), has been tremendously satisfying for the FAF groups that several times yearly provide nurturing meals, comforting treats and support to the families they chose to foster!

Organize a campfire, welcoming the Domus Pacis families visiting Summit County for their respite stays. One evening a week Domus Pacis identifies a different service group like the Scout Troops, church youth groups, school activity clubs, neighborhood families, etc. that volunteer to plan and host our families for a campfire.

Family Circles

Class

Community Development 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Families
People/Families of People with Cancer
People/Families of People with Health Conditions

Description

Family Circle members are past respite participants who want to "pay it forward" by helping other families to complete a respite stay through Domus Pacis. Members are grouped geographically and choose both on an individual and group level the extent of their involvement. Members reach out to respite nominees who have requested contact with a Family Circle individual. Their goal is to answer any questions, address concerns and/or offer help to complete DPFR's application. Sometimes a nominee's worries about participating in a respite stay can be relieved by speaking to someone who has been on one.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Beyond personal connections with nominees, local/regionally Family Circle groups are empowered to support Domus Pacis in member-driven, creative ways. From sharing professional skills, identifying funding resources through employer-based giving to hosting a Food for Families Friday in their community, Family Circle groups across the state are doing their part to ensure more patients and families benefit from a respite stay.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.