Children’s hospice asks for Easter donations

Published 9:50 pm Monday, March 6, 2017

An organization that helps sick children is asking Hampton Roads for help this spring.

Edmarc Hospice for Children is accepting donations for Easter baskets until 5 p.m. April 6. Donations are accepted weekdays at 516 London St., Portsmouth, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The hospice supports approximately 300 children with life-threatening illnesses and their families by providing services to ease their pain, anxiety and fear.

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“We do things throughout the year to bring a little cheer to these families’ lives,” Edmarc Community Resource Coordinator Kristen Jones said.

The baskets have various themes. Superheroes like Batman and Spiderman are popular. There are also movie and music baskets for teenagers. More baskets, filling, candy and Easter-themed toys are also requested.

More than 150 volunteers will deliver these baskets to sick children throughout Hampton Roads on April 8. Jones said that baskets are also given to the parents and siblings. Families that have lost a child also receive baskets.

“We believe you have to take care of the whole family,” Jones said. “We try to give them all the love and attention.”

The hospice works with local organizations to help families care for their children or grieve for their losses. Families also receive in-home nursing care and other medical resources. Jones said volunteers help them with tasks such as grocery shopping, cutting the grass and pressure-washing the house.

“It’s about eliminating that hustle and bustle stress so they can really live in the moment and make memories,” Jones said.

Edmarc was founded in 1978 by Suffolk residents Joan and Allen Hogge as the first pediatric hospice in the country. Marcus Hogge, their young son, was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease. At the same time, their pastor at Suffolk Presbyterian Church, Edward Page, was suffering from a brain tumor.

They and numerous church volunteers started the hospice to help other families caring for sick children. The name Edmarc was coined in honor of Edward and Marcus.

“It’s very inspiring to me to hear that story,” Jones said. “Losing your child while still helping the community going through the same thing.”

Jones said volunteers try to help early on in the diagnosis and that there’s always hope for their recovery.

“We see that a lot of our kids thrive,” she said. “They get better.”

For more information, call 967-9251 or email