Fifth graders collect items for Androscoggin Home Healthcare and Hospice during Catholic Schools Week. Contributed

LEWISTON — After learning about hospice care from Dr. Shauna McElrath, a specialist in palliative care for Central Maine Healthcare, the fifth graders at Saint Dominic Academy decided to lend a helping hand to the mission of caring for people experiencing advanced, life-limiting illnesses.

“Last year, we were able to have Dr. McElrath come in and speak to the students about what she does as a hospice doctor and exactly what hospice does for its patients,” said Theresa Dufour, a fifth-grade teacher.

“We have been collecting for hospice during Catholic Schools Week,” said Jen Poliquin, another fifth-grade teacher. “We collect items such as lotion, toothpaste, shaving cream, puzzles, games and other items.”

But the large collection of items won’t just offer comfort to patients. “We also collect items for the family members of the patients that may be staying with their loved ones during their final days,” said Dufour.

Androscoggin Home Healthcare and Hospice is nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing quality of life by providing innovative and compassionate medical care.

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