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From left to right: Brian, Nick and Karen Zecchinelli.

Thanksgiving is next week, and the management and staff at Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice (CVHHH) would like to offer our sincere thanks to our donors and community. When the coronavirus turned life as we knew it upside down, you stood by our side. Since March, individuals and local businesses have met our call for support with donations, sponsorships and in-kind gifts of goggles, hand sanitizer, lunches for staff, and many hundreds of surgical and hand-sewn masks.

We recognize how lucky we are to live in a community that comes together when people, or businesses, need help and where neighbors look out for neighbors. Next week, on our Facebook page, we will share stories from seven central Vermont families who support CVHHH. The families come from all over our service area — Barre, East Montpelier, Waterbury Center, Fayston, Northfield, Roxbury and Middlesex — and they each have their own reasons for supporting CVHHH. We want to celebrate their individuality, generosity and commitment. We want to thank them, and all our donors, for giving to CVHHH and for making it possible for us to continue to care for central Vermonters in the comfort and safety of home.

Here is a profile of one of these families. Many of you may know Brian and Karen Zecchinelli and their son, Nick, from the Wayside Restaurant. Brian and Karen Zecchinelli called on CVHHH a year ago after their son, Nick, 24, was discharged from an extended stay at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Nick spent a month in the hospital and came down with a serious case of pneumonia. He needed support once he returned home.

Brian says they had the whole “kit and kaboodle” of support from CVHHH, though one of Nick’s clinicians, Wendy Watson, an occupational therapist, left a lasting impression. Wendy equipped the Zecchinelli’s shower with grab bars and a removable bench and taught Nick to safely get into and out of the tub. She also taught the Zecchinellis to get Nick up and down the stairs. “He was totally wiped out after his hospital stay,” Karen says. Nick still talks about the bench from Wendy, which he brings into his mother’s office to sit on while she does restaurant-related work. “CVHHH touches so many lives and helps families get through the days that can seem insurmountable,” she says. “It’s nice just to have that smiling face at the door. You can take a breath of fresh air and feel grateful that someone is going to help.”

We are grateful for every person who extends a hand to us. Visit for a link to our Facebook page, where you can read more donor stories. On behalf of CVHHH’s staff, management and board of directors, have a safe, healthy and a very happy Thanksgiving.

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