Community encouraged to reflect and share what’s on their “bucket lists”

Written by Theresa Rose on August 30, 2017

BEFORE I DIE Wall Coming To Mt.Pleasant

“Go to Disney World.” “Ride a motorcycle.” “See the Cubs play at Wrigley.”

These are all aspirations SE Iowans have crossed off their bucket lists thanks to some help from one local non-profit organization. This weekend the organization is encouraging Midwest Old Thresher’s Reunion attendees to dream big — literally.

HCI Hospice Care Services will be placing a large chalkboard “Before I Die” wall in front of its office, located at 118 N Main Street in Mt. Pleasant during the festival. The chalkboard will be stenciled with columns of the prompt, “Before I Die I want to ________,”. Before I Die is an interactive public art project that invites people to reflect on life and share their personal aspirations with provided chalk.

“I hope these walls get people in our community thinking about living their lives to the fullest now while they’re healthy and able to do so,” said Machelle Lowe, volunteer coordinator for the local HCI Hospice Care Services.

Lowe was inspired to bring the project to Mount Pleasant after receiving a cancer diagnosis earlier this year. “We talk with our patients about what’s important for them to accomplish before they die, and we do what we can to support their wishes,” Lowe said. “But my health scare definitely made me personally think about making the things happen that are important to me.”

HCI Hospice Care Services is encouraging SE Iowans to consider what’s on their bucket lists to live their best lives and share via social media with the hashtag #AOCiowa.

To date, more than 2,000 Before I Die walls have been erected in more than 70 countries.

Before I Die is the theme for this year’s Art of Compassion, a new, annual signature fundraising event benefitting HCI Foundation that will be held in Des Moines in October. Compassion is at the core of the more than 50 programs HCI Hospice Care Services, Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa and Amanda the Panda Family Grief Center offer that serve about 60,000 Iowans annually through life’s most difficult moments. For more information or to donate, visit