Solace House of the Ozarks gains momentum

Solace House of the Ozarks gains momentum
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Solace House of the Ozarks, a community partnership of agencies aimed at providing hospice care in Joplin, hosts a colorful fundraiser, drawing large community support.

Marilyn O’Brien lost her husband of 43 years last September, but is thankful for the final days she spent with him.

“He was just really special. He was always there for me, and I was so glad that I could be there for him through his last days and being able to just be there and love him and take care of him,” said O’Brien.

O’Brien’s husband was honored at the Solace House of the Ozark’s festive, Chinese New Year-themed fundraiser. It’s something she knows he would have been proud to be a part of, and she hopes to volunteer once the group builds its hospice care center.

“Tom wanted that. You know, we talked about it, and when he found out that this facility was a possibility, he said this is what I want my legacy to be about,” explained O’Brien.

The group plans on starting small with two bedroom pilot homes before moving on to its greater goal.

“Our ultimate vision is to have a home, about 10 bedrooms and have private garden areas where people can go and meditate, somewhere that’s comfy and cozy and not hospital like,” explained Megan Spiering with Solace House of the Ozarks.

The home away from home would be free and provide all the professional medical care necessary for patients, allowing family members to focus on what’s important.

“All they need to do is just love on their loved ones and someone else is taking care of all the other things, so it allows them to have that space of just spending those last moments, whatever time they have left, with their loved one,” said O’Brien.

For O’Brien, being a part of this group keeps her husband’s memory alive and inspires her to do more for the community.

“I want to be able to spend as much time as I can helping others,” O’Brien said.

More than 88 people attended the event that also included silent auction items.

The group raised $10,000 at the last fundraiser, and plan on hosting four fundraisers a year and seeking grants and endowments until the goal is met.