For most, the holidays are a time for family togetherness and making happy memories. However, every year many hospice patients are isolated from their families, making what could be their last holiday season a lonely time.
In 2009, Diane Hallock decided to change this. Hallock founded the “Holiday Lights and Limos” program in memory of her mother Anita, who received hospice care before her death in 2007. The program started in Plymouth and recently moved to Minneapolis.
Lights and Limos finds patients who can’t otherwise connect with their families for the holidays and coordinates a limo ride past holiday light displays throughout the Twin Cities for them. “All the planning is taken care of,” project manager Niece Nardini says. “We make it easy for the family to come together.” Transporting sick individuals can be tricky business, so Nardini ensures the patient is wrapped in a fleece blanket made by a volunteer; participants are supplied with a “ride bucket” filled with treats and sparkling cider, all donated by local businesses.
Nardini believes the effect on patients is profound. “The rides build a bridge between patients and families,” she says. “It can mend relationships, and bring peace and happiness to families during a trying time. It’s an incredible program.”
Lights and Limos relies on volunteers and donations. “We especially need transit help,” Nardini says. “Even if you could donate one ride, it would be appreciated.” You can call or text Niece Nardini at 763.253.2139 to donate fleece blanket materials, money or even candy to this charitable cause.