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When Jack Morris accepted a lunch invitation from Gary Shorb, he was prepared for the possibility of being surprised.
“Gary and I have become good friends, and he called and asked me to go to lunch with him and talk,” Jack said. “But he’s a busy guy, and the fact that he bothered to pick me up and take me to lunch, I figured it must be important.”
It was. The Methodist Healthcare CEO wanted to discuss with Jack aspects of the system’s Hospice programs that wouldn’t be possible without the support of donors like him. Jack and his wife, Jane, were key supporters of the Hospice Residence.
But what happened next was a surprise to everybody but Jack.
“He asked me if I’d be willing to make a pledge like you do at church, to give regularly over time,” Jack said. “He told me to take my time and get back with him. I looked at his numbers and thought about it for one day. I called him back and said, ‘Why don’t I just give you a donation of $100,000 right now?’”
Methodist will use the funds to strengthen and expand hospice programs that go beyond traditional medical care—things like Camp Bravehearts, bereavement services, quarterly memorial services and caregiver training.
A successful businessman and dedicated public servant, Jack has served on both the hospital and Foundation boards at Methodist and countless other posts. And the 84-year-old is not afraid to talk about the realities of the end of life.
“We’re all going to die. Have you ever heard of a person who lived forever?” Jack said. “I’m not planning to die, but I was thinking, ‘What if I die before I was able to pay that pledge?’ At my age, I’m thinking he didn’t want a little gift from me.”
It’s that simple wisdom, combined with the memories of his daughter-in-law and her struggle with brain cancer at home, which are behind his and Jane’s steadfast support of Methodist’s hospice efforts.
“If someone is diagnosed with something terminal, they know they are going to die,” Jack said. “There needs to be a place where they can be made comfortable but also where their mind and spirit are going to be taken care of.”
Sally Aldrich, RN, MSN, CNO Methodist Affiliated Services Division, says it’s clear from their long-time support for Methodist Healthcare and their passion for and commitment to the hospice program, that Jane and Jack have a keen understanding of the importance of caring for patients and their families.
“They know that it is often the extra care and compassion the hospice team provides that helps patients and families cope with the often difficult journey at the end of life,” she said. “We are tremendously grateful for their ongoing and generous support.”
You can help someone facing a difficult end-of-life journey by making a gift to Methodist Hospice here. No gift is too small or too large, and every gift makes a difference.