All About FVVH
Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice is a non-profit, volunteer based, community funded organization that has been dedicated to providing practical, spiritual, and emotional support to individuals with life threatening and terminal illnesses and grieving persons and their families since 1981. Supported entirely by the community, all care is available without charge regardless of age, diagnosis, prognosis, income level, Medicare eligibility, race, or creed.
Now the largest volunteer hospice in the United States, Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice (FVVH) celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2006. FVVH has grown to where it is today from a handful of highly dedicated volunteers. Nearly 500 committed individuals now ensure that this hospice remains true to its volunteer roots while serving everyone free of charge.
While at a hearing in Springfield in the late 1970’s, Senator John Grotberg was introduced to the hospice concept. Wanting to know more about this aspect of care, he contacted Donna Kruger, a local nurse who had background working with terminally ill patients. A task force consisting of Jack Taft, a hospital administrator, Don Hetzler, a Lutheran pastor, Bruce Conley, a funeral director, Melissa Hayes, a local nurse, Kruger and Grotberg was convened at the historic Hotel Baker in St. Charles.
As word spread about the possibility of beginning a local hospice, other volunteers stepped forward and began to raise community awareness of the program. A symposium attended by more than one hundred people was held at Pheasant Run where Clarice Schultz, a local nurse, and Kruger spoke about the potential of a hospice in the Fox Valley community. With strong community support and growing volunteer help, FVVH became a reality.
Baker Memorial United Methodist Church offered office space in an empty room in the church’s lower level. As more volunteers offered their help and FVVH’s patient list grew, space became an issue. Hospital equipment, food and sick care supplies were stored off site. FVVH moved to an office in Batavia but soon outgrew even that building.
The FVVH Board of Directors and volunteers began a Capital Fund Campaign to purchase property and finance the construction of a building to house all of FVVH’s needs. From the beginning, FVVH has been a “hands on” and action-oriented organization, just as the founders envisioned.
As volunteer hospices fade from the American Hospice Network and Medicare hospice organizations replace them, Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice continues to provide social, emotional and spiritual support to families free of charge. The organization remains committed to finding creative and innovative ways to provide high quality, compassionate care of the many individuals and families that they we are honored to serve.
Programs at a Glance