Celebration Village helps Sanctuary Hospice House provide end of life care

One family tells how Sanctuary Hospice makes an impact during tough times.

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – One of the largest Christmas marketplaces takes place this week in Tupelo.  And while many people visit “Celebration Village” to get a jump on their holiday shopping, the event also serves as the largest fundraiser for the Sanctuary Hospice House.

Margaret Sams Gratz and her family have deep roots with The Sanctuary Hospice House. Her Dad, Sammy Sams, served as the ministry’s attorney for years.  Margaret knew the West Tupelo ministry was a special place.

“We were familiar with Sanctuary and had been out here for different fundraisers and things like that, you knew what a peaceful place this is, it’s sacred, holy, you feel that when you are here,” Gratz said.

Then, in 2020, Margaret’s mother, Mary Helen, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“We cared for her for a long time at home, but when it came to the point where she wasn’t secure being at home, we were doing all we could, but it wasn’t enough, always thought it would be the saddest day when we left the farm with mom, but it wasn’t it was such a relief, it gave her security, in knowing the nurses, I call them the angels, of sanctuary, would be here,” she said.

Mary Helen passed away in 2021, and Margaret says the care and compassion of the nurses and staff touched the entire family.

In fact, the Sams Family has been given a special honor for this year’s Celebration Village, the Christmas marketplace benefitting Sanctuary Hospice.

“We have been honored with the designation of being the mayor of Celebration Village, the Sandy Sams family, we have a large family, and mom is not here, but she is the rock, we’re so honored and grateful for that recognition,” Gratz said.

No one has turned away at Sanctuary Hospice, regardless of their ability to pay, and with healthcare costs rising, Margaret said it’s important to support the ministry.

“When folks are out here as patients, you want all the resources that could be available, and the people at Sanctuary Hospice are excellent stewards of those resources,” she said.

Through the years, Sanctuary Hospice House has provided care for nearly 9,000 patients and their families.

They will continue to do that with events like Celebration Village, help from the community, and a lot of prayer.

The celebration begins Wednesday evening with a preview party. It runs through Saturday. For more information go to sanctuaryhospicehouse.com/celebration-village

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