Dear Friends,

Holidays are a time when we look forward to special moments:

Moments when family, friends and loved ones will surround us; moments that carry us forward to a new day.

I see special moments every day in my work at Forefront Living. Moments when the caring hand of a staff member steadies a faltering step. Moments when the arm of a therapist supports a shoulder bowed in weariness. Moments when a social worker or chaplain clasps the hands of a grieving family. Moments highlighted by the mingling laughter.

Today is your opportunity to help make more of these precious moments possible for those in our care.

Support from people like you is one of the greatest blessings to our mission and ministry. Our work at Forefront Living is to raise, invest and distribute funds to support Faith Presbyterian Hospice, Presbyterian Village North and the T. Boone Pickens Hospice Center. However, the purpose of our work is to make the extraordinary possible, to help fulfill our mission and create an environment in which individuals can thrive, no matter the stage of life.

During this holiday season, will you help make moments matter for others through a generous gift? Your support will do so much good for the residents, patients and families we serve.

Families like Maria and Junior Villanueva…

Junior and Maria met when Junior was working for a florist and Maria was working in an optometry office two doors down. The couple hit it off immediately, enjoying nearly twenty-nine years as husband and wife. Many people in the community know Junior and Maria Villanueva for their talents in creating memorable moments and events for others through The Garden Gate, a floral business they started together. Junior took on the roles of floral artist and customer relations, while Maria managed essential business duties. Junior and Maria worked side by side for more than 25 years building a thriving business.

When Maria was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy, the treatment appeared to be successful. Then, two years ago, following a serious automobile accident, Maria realized she just wasn’t feeling well. An oncology visit revealed that Maria had pancreatic cancer. Just after Thanksgiving last year, their oncologist advised them to arrange hospice care. Junior and Maria knew nothing about hospice, or where to begin. They reached out to several friends for advice, and within hours, Maria was admitted to the Harold Simmons Foundation Inpatient Care Center at the T. Boone Pickens Hospice Center, where Maria and Junior spent nearly six weeks.

Junior described their time at the T. Boone Pickens Hospice Center as “the most beautiful and hardest weeks of our lives.” Typically, December is filled with weddings and events, but during this time, they took great comfort in knowing that they could spend all their time together. They celebrated Christmas with family and New Year’s Eve with friends. Each day Maria would dress and enjoy time with the many friends and family members who came to visit. They lovingly decorated Maria’s room for the holidays and found ways to celebrate each day. Their dogs Gigi and Petals made Maria’s room home, too, which allowed them to feel even more comfortable without the worry of leaving their beloved pets. In private times, they watched old episodes of Gunsmoke, a family favorite when Maria was growing up.

Maria and Junior were so encouraged by the compassionate care of staff that spent time with them and showed genuine care for the couple. During their six weeks of hospice, Junior conversed with Faith Presbyterian Hospice staff about why they chose to work in hospice care. He remembers their responses being they had each cared for someone at the end-of-life and know how important hospice care is to patients and families. The commitment of Faith staff was evident to Maria and Junior through their heart-felt care and compassion.

For several years, The Garden Gate has created the beautiful centerpieces for the Each Moment Matters Luncheon benefitting Faith Presbyterian Hospice. Junior shared, “although I knew about the Each Moment Matters Luncheon, I didn’t realize exactly what it was for.” Because of his experience, the event took on a new meaning for him.

“You are blessed if you never have to utilize hospice care, but doubly blessed if you have care from Faith Presbyterian Hospice at the T. Boone Pickens Hospice Center. It is the closest place to heaven on earth. I’m not sure what we would have done if this place had not been available,” Marcelino “Junior” Villanueva.

When Maria died on January 8, 2020, Junior lost his best friend, business partner and spouse. The void of Maria’s daily presence is profound, but Junior draws strength from dear friends and his faith and is grateful for the time they shared together.

Today, there are many more like Maria and Junior who have the same need for high quality, compassionate care. Will you take a moment now to help others in need by making a generous gift to Forefront Living Foundation?

I hope you know the enormous difference you can make in the lives of those we serve. Thank you for caring. I wish you and your loved ones a safe and warm holiday season.

I invite you to contact me to share your own story or to learn more about our mission and how you can be involved. My phone number is 214.413.1577 and my email is tburley@forefrontliving.org.

With my sincere thanks and gratitude,

Tena Burley

Executive Director

P.S. Will you turn your caring into action and help others in need through a generous gift? Make your tax-deductible gift before Dec. 31, 2020 at www.forefrontliving.org/donate-now or mail to Forefront Living Foundation, 12467 Merit Drive, Dallas, TX 75251 (postmark by Dec. 31). Gifts to the T. Boone Pickens Center Endowment will be matched 100%.

Thriving Lives $10 Million Endowment Campaign for the T. Boone Pickens Hospice Center

Through the T. Boone Pickens Hospice Center, Faith Presbyterian Hospice is filling a critical need in the Dallas community by caring for some of the most medically complex patients at the very end stages of life. No matter the stage of life, we believe there is an opportunity to thrive… to make each moment matter for those we serve.

The Thriving Lives $10 Million Endowment Campaign will provide for the continuation of compassionate, high-quality care and maintain the pristine environment of the entire campus.

We are honored to have an anonymous donor pledge to match up to $5 million in donations before February 28, 2021 to the T. Boone Pickens Hospice Center Endowment Fund. Because every gift or pledge will be matched dollar-for-dollar in the quarter received, the endowment is already beginning to grow.

With your support, we can meet this challenge and help hospice patients and their families experience compassionate, high quality end-of-life care – now and in the future. Contact us to learn more about end-of-year giving options or how you can honor a loved one.

Faithful Friends

Forefront Living Foundation hosted its virtual kick-off event on Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. via Zoom. The program was originally supposed to kick-off at the beginning of 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic.

“We are thrilled to finally be able to kick off our Faithful Friends affinity group which will offer members special invitations to inspiring and informative talks and exclusive receptions to learn more about the great work Faith Presbyterian Hospice does,” said Tena Burley, Executive Director of Forefront Living Foundation. “We need more advocates in the community that believe we can make the end of life as special as the beginning and want to help in meaningful ways.”

The purpose of this group is to create an environment for engaging individuals with the organization. Our Faithful Friends will serve on committees and participate in other philanthropic opportunities, develop a method for letting donors know about Faithful Wishes along with other organizational needs, and provide a way to engage honorees and previous volunteers.  They will also serve as an entry point for family members who have an affinity for Faith.

“Faithful Friends is a way for individuals to be involved at whatever level of commitment they can,” said Burley.  “Not everyone can volunteer once a week or make a huge donation, but by learning more about quality end-of-life care and helping out where you can, we have an opportunity to change people’s perspectives and help more families have a positive end-of-life experience.”

Membership is $300 per person, or couple, lasting until Dec. 31, 2021. In addition to receiving intrinsic rewards, members will be invited to attend exclusive informational and social events, help decide how their fundraising dollars are utilized, and receive incentives for inviting other members to join.

There are currently 31 members in the Faithful Friends program and the Forefront Living Foundation would like to reach a goal of 100 by the end of the year.

For members, an in-person kick-off is being planned for Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center.

If you would like to become a member, visit forefrontliving.org/ways-to-give and choose “Faithful Friends”. To learn more about the Faithful Friends affinity group or become a member, visit forefrontliving.org/foundation.

When you shop, Amazon gives.

You can support Forefront Living Foundation by shopping at AmazonSmile.

When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate to Forefront Living Foundation. All donations made through AmazonSmile will help provide much needed benevolent care and unfunded services for residents, patients, children and families.

Follow this link to register today: smile.amazon.com
Once you register, every time you make a qualifying purchase at AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate .5% to Forefront Living Foundation. It costs you nothing!

It’s easy!
1. Go to smile.amazon.com.
2. Login to Amazon or register for an account.
3. Select Forefront Living Foundation.
4. Then start shopping! Based on your purchases AmazonSmile will donate to to Forefront Living Foundation.

Sign up now for AmazonSmile!

Remember: once you’re signed up, keep shopping at smile.amazon.com and your purchases will make a difference in the lives of those served by the Caring Funds at our communities and Faith Presbyterian Hospice.