View from the Garden 
         I am a garden volunteer.  Since retiring ten years ago that is what I do; with Master    Gardeners and Up-With-Trees, for friends, at church and at Clarehouse.  I always feel close  to the spirit of the work being done at Clarehouse and it has become one of my "sacred  spaces".

         Gardening is a metaphor for many things.  Gardeners don't really "grow things".  We just  prepare the earth and nurture the potential in each seed or plant.  Nurtured properly, most  plants live their allotted life span; some many years, some only one season.  Some, new ones  and old, in spite of all our best efforts, do not make it.  We all, people or petunias, have an  allotted time here on earth. 

          My kids used to joke that I like plants better than people (a partial truth) so I seldom attend open houses.  But this  year I volunteered during Clarehouse's.  I answered garden questions but mostly listened to visitors and their guides.  There  were several remarks about the obvious line between the carefully designed lawn and garden areas and the untended creek  and woods beyond, which, to me, is a beautiful metaphor for what Clarehouse and life are all about.  There are some things  we can, at least partially, shape and modify (ourselves) and things we cannot (all the rest of the universe).  Brambles and briars and poison ivy are as much a part of the grand scheme of things as are verbena and violets and roses. Birds, squirrels and the wind are ever at work to restore the randomness and diversity we humans seem to not be comfortable with.  Our species works hard at maintaining artificial boundaries.     

          So, I am grateful that when the time comes to dissolve the boundary between this life and whatever comes next, Clarehouse is here to help make that transition as peaceful as it can be, both for the traveler and for family and friends.  I am grateful to be able to contribute in a small way to keeping it beautiful.  After a final morning meander from Mingo to the chapel, pulling weeds, trimming twigs and surveying the garden spaces and edges, I take time to walk the labyrinth with its carefully structured pathway, and feel the meandering creek and the rustling woods beyond. 

Janet Williamson, Volunteer


       Raisin' Cain, A Ballroom Bash, will be held Thursday, October 2nd, 2014.  Marking our third year at the historic Cain's Ballroom in downtown Tulsa, this year's event includes special guest Mary Cogan, a popular performer in the Tulsa scene.  Scott Gaffen is set to emcee, Oklahoma Joe's is catering and doors open at 6pm.  Wine and beer pulls will be part of the fun and simply attending Raisin' Cain guarantees guests a chance to win one of many prizes throughout the evening.

       Two years ago, we transformed this annual fundraiser, modeling it on the constructive suggestions of some of our dedicated attendees.  Scrapping the program/auction format received great reviews from our guests.  We intend to stick to that "Just Have Fun" principle by hosting a night of cocktails, barbecue, games, giveaways, dancing and live music, all while raising money for Clarehouse care.  With the growing success of previous events and the generous support of our sponsors, we anticipate proceeds from this year's Raisin' Cain event will provide 26% of our annual budget!

       Sponsorships are still available.  Visit the event page on our website at or contact me at 918.893.6150 or, if you'd like more information.  Your participation is crucial to our success; hope to see you there!                                                          

Stacy Haggard, Development Coordinator


Making a Difference Together

       Nonprofits struggle with measuring impact.  Many of us fall into the trap of measuring and reporting on activity rather than mission impact. Through our annual strategic planning process, our Board of Directors and Leadership Team continue to refine our approach to reporting to you, our supporters, about the impact of our care.  

       We still believe the numbers are important; 3,288 days of care were provided to 353 guests last year.  Even more descriptive, families and guests report that "a weight is lifted" upon arrival at Clarehouse.  They cite the ability to "just be family" again, rather than focus all their energy on care needs.  Family Evaluation Surveys distributed 30 days after a death provide consistently positive feedback regarding care, collaboration, and the home itself.  Research has shown that Clarehouse improves the well-being of those served by creating a space that offers relief from suffering, the lifting of burdens, and care that exceeds expectations. 

       Over the past 18 months, we have worked with a consultant to develop outcome measurement frameworks for our direct care and education and are piloting the tools now that will track results based on achieving specific, time-bound targets.  This process has enabled us to articulate our impact in a deeper way; twenty-four hours a day, practical, loving care is given, while we help dying individuals achieve peace, help families reconcile relationships, and help survivors begin healthy grief journeys. 

       Please contact me if you would like to learn more about how Clarehouse makes a difference in the lives of those we serve.

                                                                                           Kelley Scott, Executive Director


        It's been four months since our beloved mother & mother-in-law relocated to Heaven from Clarehouse.  It meant a lot to us to have her so close to home and for one of us to be able to spend the night.  We truly appreciate the many caring staff and volunteers who helped to carry our burden during this difficult time.

        We know she had unfinished business and feared that the pain and anti-anxiety meds would interfere with her accomplishing what she needed to do.  We are eternally grateful that, only four days before she died, she came to a place of peace with God and no longer feared death. 

 ~Jerry and Ruby Zimmerman

"Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy.  You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in."                                                

~Author Unknown

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