KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Across the country, people are using their creativity to support the families who have lost loved ones in recent shootings. A group of nurses in Knoxville decided to send gifts to the victims' families.
The nurses at Smoky Mountain Hospice got together Thursday morning to remember the victims from the recent shootings in Oregon and Connecticut.
They lit a candle in memory of everyone who died.
One of the victims in the mall shooting in Oregon was actually a hospice nurse.
"We had been touched so deeply by the shootings and the tragedies that have went on," said nurse Haylea Bates. "We wanted to do a little something for them to show them we care."
Each year they give their patients a Christmas ornament, so they thought they would send a special gift to all the victim's families as well.
"We hope it brings what we try to bring to families everyday in our work of service," said social worker Cynthia Finch. "That is comfort."
The nurses here also wanted to make sure the community knew they offer free grief counseling services to churches and schools.
"We do 'Getting through the Holiday' grief sessions that churches, communities can call and say, 'Hey Smoky Mountain (Hospice), we would love for you to come out and share your information with the group of people'," explained Finch.
They just hope this small gift they prepared Thursday will give families who have recently experienced death a little more peace in this holiday season.
"One thing I tell my patients, we deal with a lot of death, is one day at a time," said Bates, "You can only take it one day at a time."
The nurses will be sending the gifts to other hospice offices in Oregon and Connecticut to hand out to the victims' families.
If you are interested in learning more about Smoky Mountain Hospice community outreach services, you can call 865-673-5877.