Still time to buy poinsettias for Friends of Hospice fundraiser

Local organization is selling floral displays online through Tuesday, with delivery and pick-up options in first week of December

A few years ago, a 7-year-old girl who knew the harsh reality of her health prospects asked for one special item: A red wagon.

When asked why, she simply said: “I want to take my toys to heaven.”

That red wagon was one of the last gifts she received, and it was courtesy of a group that is holding its annual poinsettia fundraiser right now, in the midst of a pandemic.

One has until midnight Tuesday to order poinsettias online from the Friends of Hospice Southwest Washington. (

Gail Czech, president of Friends of Hospice Southwest Washington. Photo courtesy of Friends of Hospice Southwest Washington
Gail Czech, president of Friends of Hospice Southwest Washington. Photo courtesy of Friends of Hospice Southwest Washington

“Our association is critical for our community,” said Gail Czech, president of Friends of Hospice, noting that it supports not only hospice care but palliative care as well. “We help provide funds for people who cannot afford hospice to have hospice.”

The organization has been in the community for 35 years. 

Czech said the first gift for a hospice patient, all those years ago, was a pink nightgown with bows. An elderly lady’s dying wish was to be buried in a pink nightgown.

Friends of Hospice does so much more than honor final gift requests, though. The organization also helps pay for costs of hospice care and has been known to help pay expenses for traveling family members to say goodbye.

“There are families that can’t afford to see (their loved ones),” Czech said. “We can provide gift cards, food, money for gas.”

Friends of Hospice Southwest Washington raises money with the sale of holiday plants to aid in its mission to be there for families going through the dying process.

The organization’s vision, according to its website, is “to bring awareness … about hospice care and how it assists families during the dying process. Our fundraising events provide an avenue for members of our community to turn this awareness into passionate giving for hospice and palliative care.”

One of the fundraisers for Friends of Hospice Southwest Washington is the annual poinsettia and Christmas cactus sale. The poinsettias, locally grown, are available in red, white, pink, burgundy, and bi-color. There are four sizes, ranging from petitie ($9) to large ($34.) A Christmas cactus is $10.

Any order of more than $100 will include free delivery. For those ordering less than $100, the poinsettias can be picked up Dec. 5-6 at a location to be determined. Czeck said safety protocols will be in place at the pick-up location.

“This has been a very difficult year for all charities,” Czech said. “We’ve stopped having our in-person luncheons and meetings. Zoom only does so much. 

“But we’ve been blessed that we have been able to raise some funds. And we are blessing those who we support.”