Free palliative care home the goal of the new local thrift store | Local News


A Waco nonprofit with a global mission is launching a thrift store this weekend to raise money for a hospice, which would provide free care to end-of-life patients.

The Lord’s Work has set a grand opening from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday for the thrift store at the property he recently purchased at 1208 N. Robinson Drive, with live music, free food and scheduled games.

Faith-based nonprofit 501 c(3), known for supporting animal husbandry and microcredit projects in developing countries, plans to branch out into end-of-life care with the free hospice, said co-founder Dr. Jeff Bates.

Bates, a physician at Coryell Health and Bluebonnet Health Services hospice program, said he and his wife have wanted to open a free hospice for about 10 years.

Bates said The Lord’s Work bought the 14-acre property where the thrift store is located last year. The six-building complex once housed the Harvest Time Revival Center and still includes a church, daycare and service dog training center, which will continue.

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Initially, Bates said the nonprofit bought the property with the idea of ​​using it as a base for its international ministry, which involved helping farmers build herds of goats. But as those plans changed, the idea of ​​a free hospice came back to him.

“My day job is I’m a palliative care doctor, I’ve been doing this for 12 years,” Bates said. “My father died in a place like this. So I said, ‘How about we do a home project? How about we build a hospice right here in Waco? »

Bates said he hopes to open the hospice next year.

A building on The Lord’s Work property on Robinson Drive will become a thrift store to support the nonprofit’s planned hospice.

Rod Aydelotte, tribune-herald

Palliative care aims to provide the best quality of life for a person as they are in the last weeks of their life. As a doctor working in the field, Bates said he felt the need for a free hospice in the Waco community.

By providing care in a family setting, Bates said the burden of caring for a dying relative is removed for loved ones, and guests can have peaceful and comfortable final weeks of life. Bates said he wanted to provide this care free of charge so that cost would not be a barrier for people receiving needed care.

“You can get out of the hospital, come here, your family can be around and take care of you,” Bates said. “Palliative care societies, they provide the doctor, they provide the nurse, they provide the drugs, they provide the bed. What they don’t provide is a place to live. They don’t provide 24/7 care.”

Bates said the hospice would have 24-hour trained staff with a certified nurse’s aide to care for guests of the house. Bates said other staff and volunteers would include nurses, chaplains, social workers and doctors. Bates said the house could accommodate three guests at a time.

Officials at The Lord’s Work hope to use the Waco facility as a model for hospices in other central Texas communities, according to the organization’s website. The homes would not receive funding from Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, or other government resources, but would rely on private donations and resale store proceeds.

Paige Jones said she was a care transition nurse and worked with Bates. She said she decided to become a volunteer after hearing about the project.

“When people go to hospitals and they have nowhere to go, I don’t have an answer for them,” Jones said. “Our seniors are one of our most vulnerable populations, and they have done so much for us in the past. I feel like we owe it all to them for giving all that last comfort.


Volunteer coordinator Pat Williams works out of the log cabin on Robinson Drive which will be used as a thrift store to benefit the hospice run by The Lord’s Work.

Rod Aydelotte, tribune-herald

Bates said he estimated the annual cost of running the hospice at $200,000, with an additional $100,000 to $200,000 needed for renovations on the property. Bates said The Lord’s Work has already received more than $50,000 in donations from the community and said he hopes community support for the hospice project will continue through the thrift store. .

Bates co-founded The Lord’s Work in 2018 with a group of friends, including Dr. Maudelin Mesadieu from Haiti; Tom Wright, owner of Built Wright Construction of Waco; and Dr. Kevin Dwyer, radiologist at Coryell Health.

The idea was to send goats and small loans to families and communities in the developing world to help them become self-sufficient. The Work of the Lord has worked in Haiti, Nepal, Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Liberia and India, according to its website.

“You give a person a bag of rice, at the end of the week they say they need another bag,” Bates said. “The goat can have a baby, and you can make the baby goat. What we do is we loan people a small amount of money, $20 or $50, without interest, but enough money so that they can open a hot dog stand, that they can sell bottled water on the street, and they can make money and then pay us back. When they pay the money back, we just give them another loan or find new people in the community. »

Bates said the hospice is a different direction for the nonprofit, but he sees a hand of providence in it all.

“It’s a bit difficult to understand how the goats figure in it, but the Lord has his own way of doing things,” he said. “We started with one thing, and now we’re doing more.”


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