Sidney and Wayne Bonvallet have always been the kind of people to ask for the recommendations of others. So, when it came to selecting a hospice for Wayne, they did just that.
“I’ve learned through my life that if you ask a lot of people for help, you’ll get help. So I learned to reach out and ask people, what would you recommend?” Sidney said. “There were three people that I really admire and appreciate, and they all recommended Angela Hospice.”
Wayne – who has age-related dementia and stage four prostate cancer – has been in Angela Hospice home care for about a month according to his wife, Sidney. And the experience has been everything they hoped it would be.
“Penny (Weeks) is our nurse and she’s extremely helpful, very attentive to what’s going on at home with Wayne, and explains things to me. I need to understand things,” Sidney said. “Even the gals that shower him, Susan and Ashley, there’s a kindness in them all that I really appreciate because to me, it’s a very fragile period.”
While Sidney and Wayne have received a lot of kindness from those who work at Angela Hospice, the couple are no strangers to sharing kindness as well, like they do through their 501(c)3 charitable foundation, Helping Hands Touching Hearts.
The Bonvallets started the non-profit 15 years ago after a trip to South Africa with their daughter and her husband. Since Sidney had been there before, she knew a lot of people and the needs of the villages. So, they decided to sew 150 school bags and bought 150 mosquito nets when the four went there on vacation, to get those items to people in need.
“As we learned more about what their needs were from staying there, then our mission evolved to working with them for education, health, hope, food, and clothing for poverty stricken people,” Sidney said.
Helping Hands Touching Hearts recently finished building a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and vocation lab in South Africa. The building is complete and according to Sidney, will be occupied very soon after some minor additions, like cupboards.
This isn’t the first time Sidney and Wayne have found themselves working together. The couple, who celebrated their 41st anniversary in June, met when they both worked at General Motors, and ran another business together before Helping Hands Touching Hearts.
Being able to share that experience of making an impact together, and understand exactly how the other one felt when helping someone that could not help them back is Sidney’s favorite memory of their time doing their charitable work in South Africa.
Now, the couple is on the receiving end of that kind of help with the home care they’re receiving from Angela Hospice.
“As the spouse, I can’t even begin to tell you how I feel grateful for the way that each person we’ve interacted with or has been in our home has been a blessing,” Sidney said. “The peace of mind from having them help us, and me being able to have someone to go to when there is an issue, it relieves me tremendously. So we’re very happy.”