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The Gift of Volunteering: I am a Hospice Volunteer…

Presnted by the Volunteer Team from Hospice of Montgomery

I am a hospice volunteer and proud of it.  I sincerely believe in the hospice mission of providing quality, compassionate end-of-life care to those who are dealing with a terminal diagnosis.  There are many of us dispensing love and compassion to our patients and their families.  We care as much for our caregivers as we do for our patients.

These family caregivers, and there is at least one in every family we serve, dispenses love 24-hours a day for weeks, months, and even years to incapacitated family members.  They have no sick days or vacations.  Sleep is a thing of the past.  If they are not caring for the loved one, then they are worrying about which bills to pay and which tasks can wait.

Many family caregivers will have a shortened life span because of the toll such care requires.  Friends and extended family fled long ago.  Their phones are silent and no one comes to the door.  They have conversations mainly with themselves.   They live in a parallel universe where they are invisible to the outside world except for the immediate family members and hospice staff who hold their hands through the journey.

The role of a hospice volunteer is to show up.  To provide the support these family caregivers so desperately need.   We know how hard it is for these caregivers to watch their loved ones’ health decline, but by giving of ourselves we ease the burden for a few precious moments.

This task requires tremendous patience and love and a large dose of strength – both emotional and physical.  We care and share as often as we are needed.  Quietly touching lives and lifting spirits.  We attempt to provide what is needed in that moment – the replacement of a light bulb, a container of home-made soup, a run to the store, the mail from the box, or just a comforting hug.

I heard it said once, that volunteers are the heart of Hospice of Montgomery; that hospice volunteers truly give and share as a gift from their heart.  For me, serving others is a humbling experience.  I didn’t know that I could love someone I didn’t know whole heartedly. It is nice to know that families feel that there is someone there to support them and their loved one.

The process hones character, develops empathy, and lessens my tendency to be judgmental of others.

Death and dying will come to all of us.  I am a hospice volunteer and by sharing myself with the families I serve, as often as I can, I ready myself for my own family’s needs in the future. I am a hospice volunteer, making a difference and doing so is very fulfilling, giving added purpose to my life.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization reports that there are more than 355,000 trained hospice volunteers contributing more than 16 million hours of service to hospice organizations across the country.

“Volunteers play an integral role in hospice care and each and every one deserves recognition and the highest accolades,” said Clara Jehle, Hospice of Montgomery’s Volunteer Coordinator.

Hospice volunteers report having a deep sense of satisfaction in being there for someone during a scary time of life.  They feel like they are making a significant contribution and providing a service benefit to their community.

Some become volunteers after watching their parents, spouses, siblings or close friends die and want to honor them by providing this service. But no matter the reason that draws volunteers to hospice work, they all say it helps keep life in perspective.

At Hospice of Montgomery, we can’t say thank you enough for the support volunteers provide.  If you are considering giving of your time and talent to the community, Hospice of Montgomery offers many ways in which you can give back.

As a hospice volunteer you will be given choices as to how much and what types of things you want to do.  From direct patient support and caregiver relief, to administrative support in a local hospice office, hospice volunteers selflessly give of their time to serve patients and families who are facing end-of-life challenges.  Volunteer are never asked to do something they are not comfortable doing.

Want to become a Hospice Volunteer? Hospice of Montgomery will train and support you in this rewarding journey!

Contact Clara Jehle, Volunteer Coordinator at or email  cjehle@hospiceofmontgomery.org.

 

Volunteer Open House

Thursday, March 5th, 2 sessions

10:30 – 11:30 am and 1:30 – 2:30 pm

Please call 271-4924 to reserve your seat.

 

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