Community Resource Kit

Syl Boeder Talks About the Community Drive

Hear from Syl Boeder about the Barrington, Illinois community drive.

The initial launch of our community drive is now complete, and we are sharing the tools and training materials we developed with you at no cost.  Our aim is to support communities in offering their own drives that encourage advance care planning as something every healthy adult age 18 plus should do.  We do not consider our drive to be over, but instead consider advance care planning to be an integral program that has been incorporated into our community.

In addition to the resource kit, we encourage you to use this website in your community drive.  It is consumer-oriented and provides a simple process to help people put their advance care wishes in writing and then share them with loved ones and caregivers. We hope that you will replicate our project and have success in encouraging your neighbors, friends, and family to talk about advance care planning in your community!

If you have difficulty accessing these resources, email for assistance.


What's Here and How to Use It

The goal in developing the Be@Ease website was to make the advance care planning process as simple as possible.  We took the process and broke it down into 3-steps which are outlined below, and correspond to tabs on our website.  We invite you to direct people in your community to the Be@Ease website! My What if Plan Step 1:  Think About It  – The first step asks people to think about how they would want to be treated if they became seriously ill and could not speak for themselves, or were injured in an accident. Step 2:  Put it in Writing – This  step provides a link to the Five Wishes resource tool, the advance care planning tool we decided to use. Step 3:  Share it With Others – In addition to putting your wishes in writing, it is very important to share these preferences with family and loved ones. This section of the website provides all the resources and training materials that were developed for our own community advance care planning drive. It is available for you to use at no charge. The community toolkit includes:

  • Conducting the Community Drive
    • Tips for a successful drive
    • Samples of newsletters and press releases
    • Reasons to develop personal stories
  • Why we used Five Wishes
  • Presentations and training materials for:
    • Training for presenters
    • Reaching out to community groups
    • Educating congregations
  • Marketing materials that you can customize:
    • Logos
    • Be@Ease Introduction Sheet
    • Pledge Card
    • Business card
    • Stationery
    • Poster
    • Sticker


Five Wishes

Why We Chose Five Wishes

In the early stages of our project, we had to decide whether to create our own advance care planning tool or use a tool that was already available.  After doing a lot of research, we decided to use Five Wishes, a document produced by Aging with Dignity. There were several reasons why we chose this advance care planning tool.  One reason is that it is  legally accepted as an advance care planning document in 42 states and the District of Columbia. It has been in existence for decades and over 19 million copies have been circulated. In addition, it is available in print and online, in 27 languages, as well as in braille, making it accessible for many. We were also able to customize the back page of the print version, with information about our organization. If you have questions about the importance of advance care planning and how to fill out a Five Wishes document, Aging with Dignity has developed a complete set of support materials – excellent teaching guides, videos and booklets.  We found the teaching tools very helpful to our campaign.  Please visit their website to find out more. We are not affiliated with Five Wishes andreceive no compensation for its use.

Barrington Custom Back Cover

Conducting the Community Campaign

Tips for a Successful Drive

We want you to be successful in launching your Be@Ease community drive!  Following are some helpful tips for getting your project started, as well as some lessons we learned.


The following press releases and newsletter article were developed to keep our community updated on the Be@Ease project.  Publicity is a great way to recognize the partners that you are working with. You are welcome to customize these materials and use them for your own community drive.  Our grant allowed us to hire a local public relations professional to work with us.  If your budget does now allow for this, consider asking the public relations manager at your local hospital to help with this marketing effort.

Press Release - #1

Press Release - #2

Press Release - Clergy Connection

Newsletter Articles


Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 10.03.07 AM We developed the Be@Ease video to explain why advance care planning is so important.  It provides a message from the benefactor, Bob Lee, and personal stories from other people involved in this program. We showed the video during our presentations.  Viewing the video and hearing personal experiences can be a very a powerful way for people to connect with this message.

Personal Stories

We found that using stories within our community drive helped bring clarity to people not only about why they need advance directives for themselves, but also how they might approach the topic with their loved ones. These stories can provide valuable insight or points of reference for those who are new to the concept or are grappling with these issues themselves. Introducing the Be@Ease program or the subject of advance directives often prompts people to tell personal experiences from their own lives.  People share both good and bad experiences and both can generate urgency to act among the group. People don’t mind sharing a story, but few will give the time or have the inclination to write  their own story.  If you can find someone willing to capture these stories, you will have powerful testimonials to share throughout your drive.  A letter requesting permission to post a story is available for you to use.

Story Request

Celebrating with your Community

As with any program, it is important to celebrate your successes!  With a program like this you do not want to celebrate the conclusion of it, but rather the beginning of a healthy way of planning and living for everyone in your community. It is vital that you acknowledge all of the volunteers and community partners that have worked with you on the project as often as possible.  Thank them publically through local newspapers, village forums and company newsletters. A year after we launched our drive, we celebrated with a party.  We invited everyone who had played a role in the drive to attend.  We asked people to share a story explaining why this program had been so important to them. This celebration was not only to thank people for participating, but to encourage them to continue keeping Be@Ease alive in our community.

Presentation and Training Materials

Overview for Presenters

While we gave many presentations ourselves, we also knew it was vital to train people in our community to help with this. The following presentations were developed to help people feel prepared to give a presentation on advance care planning to a community group or a congregation.  This can be a difficult topic, and the more prepared our trainers were, the more comfortable they were presenting. We trained at least one person from each of the community groups that agreed to partner with us.  These materials were then available for them to use to train others within their organization. The presentations are broken into two sections.  The first part is an overview of the program and how to discuss advance care planning, and the second part is a template of a presentation that the trainer can customize for his/her own use. The preview allows you to see our completed presentation.  Unfortunately, we are unable to include the photo’s we purchased in the download version, but we did include the proof of the photo along with the stock number and website of the sites that the images were purchased from ( and  This version also includes detailed notes to walk you through the presentation.

Community Training

Clergy/Congregation Training

Sample Invite for Clergy Training Session

Sample Agenda for Clergy Training Session

Community Partner

The first phase of our community outreach involved meeting with our community partners and determining what would work best for each of them in terms of bringing our message to the community.  Some of our partners requested a partnership agreement that helped to define what we as the project staff were committed to do, and what they were going to do through their organization and in the community. The following materials were used in our community and by our partners to provide training and education.  The preview button provides the presentation that we used and the download includes a version of a presentation with detailed notes.  We were unable to include the photo’s that we purchased, but we did provide a proof, stock number and the website when possible that the images were purchased from ( and  If you choose to purchase or use your own artwork, we recommend selecting images that represent young, healthy families and individuals.

Community Partner Agreement

Community Presentation

Event Planning Checklist

Be@Ease Introduction

Attendance/Sign In


Another key partner that was extremely supportive in our community drive was our faith communities. When we met with area faith groups they not only understood the importance of advance care planning, but went on to talk about the greater question: how could they as pastors support people in their congregations as they and their loved ones deal with these difficult decisions approaching the end of life. Faith communities were encouraged to plan and conduct internal advance care planning drives with their congregations.  Letter and phone call invitations can be  found under the community section of the toolkit.

Congregation/Clergy Presentation

Event Planning Checklist

Attendee Survey

Be@Ease Introduction


Coffee & Conversation

Be@Ease started Coffee and Conversation as a way to bring small groups of people together to discuss and act.  End-of-life conversations are never easy ones to start.  Given the intimacy of their nature, one of the most effective ways we found to spread the word about the need to do advance care planning is through what we call Coffee and Conversation. Gathering friends and family around “the table” provides a comfortable and safe place where people can talk about their experiences and share their hopes and fears about this very personal journey. The Coffee and Conversation format is intended to be small (not more than 10-15 people) and informal. To begin the event we showed the Be@Ease video, and instead of giving the presentation, we shared this information through conversation.  When possible, we identified someone in advance that would support or  be a “champion” in helping us share the benefits of advance care planning.  The steps to create your own Coffee and Conversation event are outlined in the checklist below along with other tools we used.

Coffee & Conversation Checklist

Sample Letter and Phone Invite

Be@Ease Introduction

Conducting an Internal Employee Drive

We asked our community partners to conduct their own internal drives with their employees as a way of supporting advance care planning. Our local not-for-profit hospice was our lead community partner and they embarked upon a year-long process to make advance care planning a part of their organizational culture for their employees, volunteers and their families. JourneyCare decided to conduct their internal campaign using a 3-step process.  According to staff, this made the campaign a lot more manageable.

  • Phase 1 – Awareness -the goal was to increase awareness of advance care planning and the Be@Ease community drive
  • Phase 2 – Education – this phase focused on education, which was provided in a variety of ways
  • Phase 3 – Action – by increasing awareness and providing education, the organization asked employees to act by completing a Five Wishes.

A more detailed overview of the program, including staff at the organization that were involved in developing the program,  is available below.

Internal Drive Overview

Marketing Materials/Templates


When developing our logo, we made a conscious decision that Be@Ease would offer a new perspective on advance care planning.  It would be for all adults, not just those facing end-of-life decisions.   Our goal is for advance care planning to be a part of every healthy family’s planning for the future.  The person who completes their advance directive can be at ease knowing their wishes will be honored; their loved ones can be at ease knowing that they will not have to make decisions without concrete guidance if and when these decisions need to be made. Available for your use are a variety of logos.  If you need any other sizes or options, please contact us at

Color Logo for Professional Printing

B/W Logo for Professional Printing

B/W logo with Gray for Professional Printing

Color Logo In-House Printing

Business Card

A template of a business card is available for you to personalize.  Business cards can be useful to hand out at community events.  Its an easy way to provide  people with the Be@Ease website.

Business Card


If you would like to develop Be@Ease stationery for your community, download the following document.  It can be customized with your  address.

Be@Ease Introduction Sheet

This one page summary brings all of the components of Be@Ease together.  We initially used it to explain the program with potential community partners.  We later used it at community events, presentations and internal drives as a great take-home piece.  It includes an overview of the 3-step process and encourages people to visit the Be@Ease website. The preview button allows you to see the completed document that we used.  When you download the file, it allows you to incorporate your own artwork or photos you have taken or purchased.


Pledge Card

We developed the pledge card as a way for people to commit to the process of completing an advance care plan.   It also included information allowing us to send a supportive follow up email.  The pledge card was very successful in the internal employee campaigns but less so with our community drive. A sample of the pledge card is available if you would like to use it in your drive.  When you download the file, it allows you to incorporate your own artwork or photos you have taken or purchased.

Pledge Card


This poster was developed and used to announce the Be@Ease drive in our community.  It was placed in the library, village buildings, community gathering places, and at local companies. When you download the file, it allows you to incorporate your own artwork or photos you have taken or purchased.


We purchased copies of the Five Wishes form (in addition to using it online).  The hard copies were distributed during our presentations, at the local library, etc..  We added a sticker to the front cover of all copies.  It was placed on the front-lower right hand corner.  The sticker served as a reminder to bring people completing their plan back to our site to share a story.