FARMINGTON - Though the temperature indicates otherwise, spring is upon us, which means that the daffodil -- one of the most enduring symbols of the warmth and renewal of spring -- will once again be making its appearance.

With that comes Daffodil Days, an annual fundraiser that supports Farmington's oldest and only nonprofit hospice, Northwest New Mexico Hospice, a program of Presbyterian Medical Services. Proceeds from the sale of the flowers benefit the hospice, which provides care and comfort to the terminally ill and their families. The fundraiser runs Thursday through Saturday.

"We provide hospice care for those who have been diagnosed as having less than six months to live. But patients do sometimes continue living and end up 'graduating' from the program," said Lisa Bailey, the hospice's volunteer coordinator.

The hospice typically provides services to about 20 patients in the facility and has full-time physicians, registered nurses, a physical therapist and nurse's aides on staff. A bereavement counselor and social worker are also on call.

While end-of-life care is covered by health insurances, many find that they or their loved ones are facing this stage of life unprepared, both emotionally and financially. Daffodil Days tries to provide relief to those in that situation.

"We don't turn people down because of their inability to pay," Bailey said. "We provide services to anyone who needs them."

While the nonprofit does bill for Medicaid and other insurance plans, the agency relies heavily on the Daffodil Days fundraiser to offset the costs of those who are uninsured, said Tyler Henke, marketing and community relations specialist for Presbyterian Medical Services's Northwest Region.

"We've had a huge amount of pre-orders (for the daffodils), which grows tremendously every year," said Henke. "We're able to do this event because Citizen's Bank orders all the flowers up front and takes care of all of the overhead costs of the fundraiser."

Henke also credits success of the event to the large group of volunteers that shows up to sort, arrange and deliver the daffodils during the three-day project.

Throughout the year, about a hundred volunteers also help with in-home and in-hospice care of patients and their families. The hospice plans to start a volunteer training session for in-home volunteers, Bailey said. Additional volunteers are needed.

Leigh Black Irvin may be reached at lirvin@daily-times.com; 505-546-4610. Follow her on Twitter @irvindailytimes.

 

How to participate:

Daffodils can be purchased for five dollars per bunch on Thursday from 2-4 p.m., and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church, 865 North Dustin. Bunches will also be for sale on Friday at TJ’s Diner, Citizen’s Bank, Smith’s Food and Drug, and at the Bloomfield Farmers Market. On Saturday, daffodils can be purchased at Wal-Mart east, Sam’s Club, PETCO, TJ’s Downtown Diner, Natural Grocers, and Smith’s Food and Drug.
For information on Daffodil Days or to find out about volunteer opportunities, call Northwest New Mexico Hospice at 505-327-0301.