Local Architect Delivers Delicious Sweets in Difficult Times
When local architect Mark Palmer assisted with the construction of the McLeod Hospice House, he never realized how it would one day become a large part of his life. Years later, when he joined the McLeod Health Foundation’s McLeod Fellows program and toured the Hospice House, Mark saw firsthand the great work that takes place in this special facility.
He was amazed. In addition to the staff’s extraordinary level of care and compassion, Mark was inspired by the way the local community banded together to help serve the patients. He took particular interest in how local restaurants and caterers provide lunch to patients, families and staff every Wednesday.
“I thought, ‘I could bake cakes for them,’” Mark recalled.
You see, Mark is not only an architect. He is also a locally renowned baker and owner of Sweet Leighs Cakes and Treats.
After a quick discussion with the Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, Tuesday Treats was born. For a year and a half now, Mark has treated patients, families and staff at the Hospice House to freshly-baked cakes one Tuesday per month.
“Both my aunt and uncle received hospice care,” explained Mark. “It is difficult for everyone involved, but I learned that taking time for ‘little positives’ can make a big difference.”
It is these “little positives,” these brief escapes from stress, that Mark hopes his cakes bring to those at the Hospice House -- whether it is a visiting family member sitting down for a quick slice or a patient who needs a sweet respite.
“In that moment you’re enjoying a cake, your only thought is ‘this is good.’ Cake doesn’t always make things better, but it never hurts,” Mark said with a smile. The Hospice House staff also looks forward to Tuesday Treats.
“Caring for hospice patients is such a unique field,” Mark explained. “The amount of heart required to do this work is amazing. Anything I can do to help, I’m happy to be involved.
“God has given us all gifts. This is how I’m able to help.”