The world is filled with dreamers. And while some enjoy peering into windows of opportunity, others open doors with the courage, tenacity and passion to turn those dreams into reality. Mary Anne Hale is one such visionary who combined her love for philanthropy and Haven Hospice into a lifelong journey that has enriched families throughout our community.

A native resident of Middlesex County, Ms. Hale has devoted most of her time to charitable causes, including civic and faith-based organizations, such as the Girl Scouts of America, municipal government and the Cathedral of St. Francis in Metuchen, as well as community health providers. Since 1978, she has served as a Eucharistic Minister at the Roosevelt Care Center, a local nursing home, and JFK Medical Center, where she discovered her greatest source of joy and inspiration.

Ms. Hale has volunteered at JFK’s Haven Hospice since its opening, offering comfort, companionship and spiritual support to those suffering from terminal illness. She has visited hundreds of patients during an intimate time in their lives to ease their burden and assist as needed — from administering communion to simply sharing a smile. Profoundly moved by her experiences, Ms. Hale saw the need to expand Haven Hospice with a residential program and did something about it.

“The dying process is a very personal moment for families,” said Ms. Hale. “Relatives should be able to pray, to grieve, to say goodbye to their loved ones in a peaceful, private setting that feels like home.” With that desire, and despite her own personal battle with cancer, she championed a capital campaign to raise over $1 million for the Mary Anne Hale Inpatient Pavilion at Haven Hospice, which was named in her honor.

Among JFK Medical Center’s most generous benefactors, Ms. Hale has instituted a fund for the special needs of hospice patients in memory of her husband, R. Jack Hale. In addition to volunteering at Hospice, she also serves on the JFK Medical Center Foundation’s Board of Trustees and is an active member of the Auxiliary of JFK Medical Center, holding previous posts on its Executive Board and as President of its Heather Twig.

“My whole life is about volunteering,” added Ms. Hale “When you share with others, you get so much more back than you give.”

Haven Hospice | 65 James Street, Edison, NJ 08818; 732-321-7769