Chandler family helps hospice families - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler family helps hospice families

December 7th, 2020 SanTan Sun News
Chandler family helps hospice families

By Lin Sue Cooney
Guest Writer

For the past four years, Amber Kovarik of Chandler has donated dozens of Thanksgiving meals to Hospice of the Valley patients and families impacted by cancer.

She says it’s a gift of gratitude in memory of her sister Shannon, who received such compassionate care at the agency’s Dobson Home in 2017.

After Shannon’s death at age 32, Kovarik started Shannon’s Giving, a foundation to help families who recently lost a loved one to cancer or have someone so sick that the thought of putting on a Thanksgiving dinner is completely overwhelming.

“I know how tough life can be when you have a loved one in hospice and my hope with Shannon’s Giving is to be able to shed some light on a dark time,” said Kovarik, a branch manager and loan officer for Guild Mortgage in Chandler.

On Thanksgiving eve, 90 Thanksgiving meals from a Whole Foods store in Chandler were delivered to families under Hospice of the Valley care in Maricopa and Pinal counties, and to inpatient care homes including Dobson Home in Mesa, Lund Home in Gilbert and Eckstein Center in Scottsdale.

“It is such an honor to be able to do this and it would not be possible without the support from Hospice of the Valley,” Kovarik said.

“It is so important for me to give back to HOV and their patients because HOV gave so much to me. The passing of my sister was the hardest and most emotional experience of my life,” she continued.

“The way our HOV caregivers handled this extremely trying time was incredible. They coached us through it and felt like family to us.”

    This was the fourth year of Shannon’s Giving with Hospice of the Valley, which identified the patients and families receiving the meals and assisted with deliveries. But it was the first year for her father, who flew in from Florida.

Her husband and daughters, 7-year-old Tatum and 5-year-old Jade, also got involved.

“It was incredibly special to have all of them with me helping deliver meals and spread love to over 100 families!” she said.

Lin Sue Cooney is community engagement director for Hospice of the Valley. For information on services and programs, visit or call 602-530-6900.