CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Jeff Sikorovsky has led fundraising efforts for the state's HospiceCare Love Light Tree campaign for nearly a decade, but it's not the dollar amounts that stick with him.
"I remember one year a woman was just standing there looking at the trees, holding herself together. I asked her if she needed anything and she said 'no' and just started to smile. She said, 'You guys took care of my sister this year. Thank you so much,'" Sikorovsky said. "A lot of people have a personal connection to Hospice, and you really get the feeling that it meant something to them."
"The best is when you have a little boy or girl walk in with a few coins and drop them on the table because their mawmaw or pawpaw was a patient with us."
The 30th Pearl Anniversary Love Light Tree campaign kicked off last week at the Charleston Town Center Mall, and aims to bring in donations for end-of-life care throughout the state.
HospiceCare West Virginia serves more than 2,500 patients and their families each year in 16 counties across the state.
The project allows donors to hang an ornament in honor of a loved one who has been or is currently a Hospice patient.
This year, Love Light trees have been erected at the Town Center, at several banks in Lewisburg and at the Boone County Hospice office.
Though Sikorovsky has worked the event for more than eight years, he hasn't forgotten the stories of the families he's met along the way.
He has two large bags of paper ornaments at his office that he can't let go of.