Poet Uses Her $500K Grant To Provide Caregivers With Respite

As originally reported to the Good News Network, a gifted poet chooses to share her $500,000 grant to bring joy to others. It is inspiring to see an individual utilize their talents to bring others a sense of hope. After poet Heather McHugh was awarded the Genius Grant for her writing talent, she decided she wanted to use it in a way that would benefit others. For two years she contemplated how this award would best be put to use. During this time she watched as her godchild was diagnosed with a disability. The chid’s disability would require round the clock support. When McHugh realized the importance of caregivers, she decided that she would use her grant to offer caregivers a break and a much needed source of solace. She decided to gift caregivers with a vacation to destinations such as Napa Valley, Maine and British Columbia.

Caregivers truly are unsung heroes. Being a caregiver means making constant sacrifices to care for your disabled loved one. Some cases are so extreme that people have had to set their own careers aside to provide 24 hour care. A simple trip to the grocery store can become a rigorous outing depending on the needs of a loved one. For example, an Alzheimer’s patient can become even more disoriented when they have left the familiar surroundings of their own home. A trip to the grocery store could stimulate all kinds of triggers that could lead to a number of difficult scenarios. Most people give little thought to running an errand, reading a book without being interrupted or even taking a 30 minute walk. However, these little things that most of the population takes for granted would be considered a luxury for an over-extended caregiver.

Hughes recognized that over 40 million people serve as caregivers for their loved ones. It is quite common for a caregiver to neglect their own needs in the process. Caregivers are only human; they need respite as well. With this in mind, Hughes established her CAREGIFTED foundation that provides week long vacations to caregivers. In many instances Hughes also travels with the caregivers to offer them help and assistance. Most caregivers just want time to enjoy a book, take a walk or indulge in a hobby. Time is a precious resource for caregivers, and Hughes gives them time in which they are not burdened with providing round the clock support.

By using her Genius Grant to provide respite for overworked caregivers, Hughes is using her talents and resources to inspire others. It is refreshing to see someone use their resources to serve a wonderful cause.