Homeland Honors Veterans Through Flags for Heroes Event


rotary club - flags for heroes

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson signed the armistice that ended World War I. The following year, President Wilson led the country in celebrating Armistice Day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in service to our country during the war. In 1954, Armistice Day became Veterans Day to honor all veterans serving our country.

This year, Homeland Hospice and Homeland Center paid tribute to veterans through Flags for Heroes, a first-time event led by the Rotary Club of West Shore. Homeland is a nonprofit program that serves communities throughout Central Pennsylvania.

From November 8-15, 160 American flags will fly along the Harvey Taylor Bridge Bypass, a busy corridor leading into the City of Harrisburg. Representatives from Homeland Hospice, the Rotary Club of West Shore and members of our community celebrated this inaugural event with a special dedication ceremony on Veterans Day.

lines of flags honoring our veterans“We want the flags to send a positive message during these challenging times,” says Rod Hite, president of the Rotary Club of West Shore. “We are overwhelmed by the number of community organizations supporting the event.”

For Rod and his fellow Rotarians, the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have shed light on the heroism of front-line workers like doctors, nurses and other caregivers. Through this year’s event, flags could be sponsored in honor of someone who has made a difference during the pandemic as well as a veteran for his/her service to our country.

“Rotary and Homeland share similar values,” Rod adds. “We have great love and respect for our community and country.”

For Homeland Hospice, honoring veterans is part of the organization’s core values. For more than eight years, Homeland has been part of the We Honor Veterans program, created by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Through the We Honor Veterans program, hospice volunteers who served in the military meet with veterans during their end of life journey. Patients are given a special pin, which represents their branch of service, as well as a small flag and certificate. The pinning ceremony ends with a salute, veteran to veteran. In this special moment of time, the patient can experience the proud memory of his/her first salute and the love and respect of an entire country.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has limited the number of volunteers who can visit patients, Homeland has kept the We Honor Veterans program strong with a smaller contingent of people participating in the pinning ceremony.

“Veterans hold a special place in our hearts and minds,” says Myra Badorf, B.A., Assistant Director of Development at Homeland Hospice. “We’re proud to serve as a sponsor and partner of this outstanding community event.”

For more information about the We Honor Veterans program visit www.WeHonorVeterans.org.

To learn more about Homeland’s work with this program, call Homeland Hospice at (717) 221-7890.

The Art of Creativity During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Allie Lombardi Brings Color to Our World



When the world shut down last spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic, loneliness and isolation crept into many of our lives. Our sense of community compelled us to reach out to those in need at a time when face-to-face contact was not permitted. Our methods of volunteering were changing, but our compassion for others remained the same. During this period of darkness, Allie Lombardi picked up her phone and paintbrushes to bring color to our world.

Allie is a high school senior in Providence, Rhode Island. For 14 years she has been a competitive dancer in ballet, jazz and contemporary dance. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Allie’s dance classes were cancelled, giving her time to focus on her other passions of volunteering and art.

Allie connected with Homeland Hospice through VolunteerMatch, an online service that connects individuals with causes and organizations. Allie’s grandmother is a nurse and her sister is studying nursing in college. In addition, her grandmother has volunteered with her local hospice, making a connection to Homeland an ideal match for Allie. Homeland Hospice is a nonprofit hospice program that serves communities throughout Central Pennsylvania.

“I was excited to connect with Homeland,” Allie says. “I had read about power of art therapy and thought I could help.”

Allie created 12 watercolor paintings of serene scenes with peaceful colors to illuminate a room. She sent the paintings to Homeland where they will be available to hospice patients. In the coming weeks, volunteers will work directly with patients to allow them to select a piece to display. After a month, the paintings will be rotated among patients to allow them to enjoy another work of art.

“We are delighted by Allie’s art,” says Laurie Murry, volunteer coordinator for Homeland Hospice. “Her beautiful paintings lift the spirits of our patients and their families.”

Hospice patients often feel a loss of control over their lives. Selecting a painting is a small, but powerful step in helping them feel a sense of satisfaction. This step also gives a local volunteer an opportunity to close the circle on Allie’s project, which began several months ago and more than 350 miles away.

While Allie will never meet the recipients of her artwork or see the smiles it brings to their faces, she knows her time and dedication to this project makes a difference.

“The project has brought me so much joy,” Allie says. “It feels good knowing I’ve been able to help someone during this time.”


For more information about Homeland Hospice and volunteer opportunities, call (717) 221-7890.