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August 2023

Note from Tracey

Self Care Tip

Stay in touch with the important people in my life

Moonlit Memory Walk
Volunteer Opportunities
On-site volunteers
Toronto, Ottawa, Milton locations

Do you know this movie?

Scene from the movie "Big Fish" - a movie about understanding ourselves, our loved ones and embracing life.  Have you seen this movie?  If so, send us a movie review for the newsletter and you could win a Cineplex gift card!  Email your review to:

Upcoming Events


Virtual Monthly Drop-in Group

August 17 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Via Google Meet

Parents & Guardians Death Café

Sept, 7 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. EDT

Via Google Meet

From our Blog

Talking to children about death 

 One of the most difficult conversations to have with a child is about death. Usually, we wait until someone or a pet is dying or has died. How strange, really. Why do we wait until we are grieving before we talk about something that we know happens every single day and could happen in the child’s life any time and without warning?

HHA's Core Value: Humanness

When we medicalize dying, our human need for connection (physical, emotional and spiritual) often goes unmet. By putting humanness at the core of how we work, we prioritize meeting others where they're at - with respect, a non-judgmental attitude, and an open heart and mind. 

"We are not the things we accumulate.  We are not the things we deem important. We are story. All of us. What comes to matter then is the creation of the best possible story we can while we’re here; you, me, us, together. When we can do that and we take the time to share those stories with each other, we get bigger inside, we see each other, we recognize our kinship – we change the world, one story at a time…”
Richard Wagamese

A note from our CEO Tracey Robertson

Are we a team or are we a family?  This question stopped our Home Hospice Association Board members in their tracks at a previous Board strategic retreat.  It was fascinating to discover different peoples’ definitions of both terms. Why was this question important you might ask?  The answer is that one of the most important functions of a charity Board is to set and disseminate the culture of the charity. Who we are to each other is an important part of being able to do this important work.  An “ah-ha moment” happened when we began to discuss the words “care” and “suffering”.   


And while we are still thinking and talking about the answer to the question “Are we are team or a family?”, the idea of creating a core value for HHA and use this to help move the Board’s work of establishing our culture became the important next step.  


And what better time to share with you, our readers, HHA’s core value: HUMANNESS 


At the core of who we are, what we do and who we want to be as a charity is to be responsible stewards in the care of those facing death and those who love and support them.   


August 19 is World Humanitarian Day.  This month also seems like the perfect time to inform our readership of the two pilot projects we are officially underway to launching: Houseless Hospice and Prison Hospice. 


With the support of Death and Infant & Pregnancy Loss Doulas / Candidates across the country, in partnership with our GTA and Ottawa Chapters, and in the gathering of our Social Science / Social Justice interns we are addressing the systemic challenges of working within a system that is not always designed to be the best way to support those in the system.  


Over the coming weeks we will be releasing more details about these two pilot projects, and you can stay up to date by bookmarking the following two webpages: 


Also, if you have not done so already, you can subscribe through our website for updates (at the top and bottom of each of our webpages). 

2023 Moonlit Memory Walk

Moonlit Memory Walk
HHA Brightest Star prize package


An amazing “Circle of Care” prize package has been designed to honor and support our HHA members participating in the Moonlit Memory Walk. This prize is exclusively available to our HHA Stars - those who give of themselves every day, and who understand the importance of having the critical funds needed for this work that we are passionate about doing.  Our “HHA Brightest Star” top fundraiser will receive this prize that “nurtures the nurturer”, so they can continue to make a difference in the lives of those they care for with renewed strength and compassion. Imagine the life they are caring for is yours or someone you love! 

For more information and to register:

Project Update

C.A.N.D.Y. Café at Hamilton Public Libraries

C.A.N.D.Y. Café, in its collaboration with Hamilton Public Libraries, held our evening workshop “How to Talk with Kids About Dying, Death, and Grief” back in March and our Death Café for Parents and Guardians, in April, both at the Hamilton Central Branch.


Participants at our Hamilton events attended for various reasons, some of which were: wanting to learn how to explain the death of a pet to their young children, how to help children understand the imminent death of a grandparent, and how to explain death in a way that won’t frighten even older children in their teens. 80% of our attendees at the Death Café for Parents and Guardians had attended the Workshop first!


This fall, we’re very excited to announce three more Workshop presentations at three Hamilton Public Library Branches: Sherwood (Upper Ottawa), Red Hill Creek (Queenston Road), and Dundas (Olgilvie Road). For dates and times, please visit our website: and spread the word!


You don’t have to be a parent to attend. The information shared will help anyone who interacts with young children and teens; whether it be as a coach, teacher, mentor, youth program leader, or perhaps a non-custodial relative. Anyone who wants to become more comfortable and knowledgeable about engaging in these conversations with young people is welcome!

Team News

Join our Pilot Project Teams

About the Prison Hospice Pilot Program

The goal of this pilot project is to build and mobilize a complete care offering that addresses the needs of the incarcerated population, those paroled, and those who love and/or care for them when those needs are related to dying, death and grief.

About the Houseless Hospice Pilot Program

The goal of this pilot project is to build and mobilize a complete care offering that addresses the needs of the houseless and street involved population when those needs are related to dying, death and grief.

Get Involved

We’re looking for dedicated individuals to help us grow these Pilot Project initiatives.  We’re specifically looking for people who have experience in one or more of the following areas:


• Project management and team engagement 

• Social work or Social Services work 

• End-of-life care, Death Doulas

• Marketing and/or fundraising

• Experience working with the population and/or their families that these programs will serve

For more information:

If you are feeling called to help with either of these two populations and want to join one of the pilot teams, we would love to draw the circle of our teams wider with your participation. Please feel free to reach out directly to and we can discuss further! 

HHA Changemakers

HHA recognizes and celebrates the positive changes, contributions, and impact that our team members make in our organization - we are deeply grateful to them for all their incredible work helping to make compassionate end-of-life care accessible to all.

Do you know an HHA team member who has gone the extra mile to reach the goals of a project, or who has made a significant contribution to the work done by HHA?  If your answer is "yes", you can nominate them to be recognized as an HHA Changemaker and featured in this newsletter and on the HHA website, by sending their name by email to: 

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SelfCare Tip
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