Emmett Volunteer Crowned Miss Gem County - Heart 'n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC

Emmett Volunteer Crowned Miss Gem County

Congratulations to Cicely Ambassador, Abigail Besselievre, who was crowned Miss Gem County 2016 on June 13th, using her platform “Remember the Seniors” to promote bringing generations


Abigail Besselievre, Miss Gem County 2016 *Photo credit Janet Monti/Messenger Index

together as a united community.

Abigail has been a Cicely Volunteer with Heart ‘n Home since June 2015. The Cicely Program – named after the founder of the modern hospice movement, Cicely Saunders, is aimed at high school juniors and seniors.  The Cicely Ambassador Team was designed to:

  • Bridge the generational gap between youth and elderly.
  • Establish a commitment to life-long volunteerism.
  • Encourage community engagement.
  • Educate youth about end-of-life care.

“Being a Cicely Ambassador has changed my life for the better and has given me so many life-enriching experiences,” Abigail said. “I look forward to volunteering every week.”

Abigail is currently coordinating a senior recognition event at a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in Emmett as part of her senior project requirement for graduation. We appreciate all she does for Heart ‘n Home patients and for her community. Way to go, Abigail!

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Finding Meaning in Volunteering

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When I was 16, I volunteered in a special needs school for children aged 4-18 with a range of disabilities and needs. I was assigned to a class of 12 students and due to a lack of staff, my volunteer role was like a teaching assistant. About two weeks into my placement, we received a new student, Angelika. She had just moved to the country from Poland and she spoke very little English.

Angelika suffered with Cerebral Palsy as well as a few other health problems. She was unable to walk and communicated through a computer. I instantly made an connection with Angelika. Her spirit beamed through her smile and she was so determined to be a part of the class. Throughout her first week, there were multiple occasions where there was a communication barrier. We found ourselves calling her mum to translate for us and it was just not an effective way to communicate. After a pretty stressful week,  I wanted to help, more, however I could. That weekend, I found myself a tutor to learn at least a little basic Polish to make Angelika’s transition easier. Monday came around and I had some basic words down. When she came into the class room, I said, “Czesc, yak sie masz,” which means, ”hello, how are you?” Let me tell you, her eyes beamed, she threw her hands in the air and her smile stretched from ear to ear.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Angelika’s physical therapist reached out to me and asked me to help with her appointments. I was able to learn enough Polish to assist  Angelika in understanding what she needed to do and get rid of the frustrations of her not being able to communicate. A week before Christmas, I witnessed Angelika taking her first unassisted steps. My heart was so full and as everyone in the room cried happy tears, I felt a sense of accomplishment that I was able to be part of that experience.  For the next six months that I was at Riverwalk school, I was able to aid multiple students by translating for them, and helped reduce the stress of not understanding. By committing to a purpose, I was able to make strong, meaningful relationships that I will never forget.

I challenge you to find a way you can experience this kind of relationship in your volunteering. Find a way to go above and beyond and serve every patient with excellent care.

Fruitland-Hospice-VolunteeringCharlotte Clements
Fruitland Volunteer Coordinator

Hospice Volunteering: Love in Motion

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Hospice Volunteering: Love in Motion!

“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for one another.” -Erma Bombeck, 1927-1996

Erma Bombeck failed most of her college writing assignments, was rejected by the school newspaper, and dropped out after one semester because she couldn’t afford tuition. However, her passion for writing was so strong it led her to become one of America’s most popular authors. She published 15 books and some 30 million people across the U.S. and Canada read her columns twice a week in 900 newspapers. Her passion also led her to become a volunteer.

In 1978, Bombeck volunteered to serve on the Presidential Advisory Committee for Women, which was working on final implementation of the Equal Rights Amendment. She endured a lot of public criticism and some stores even stopped selling her books. Once again, she refused to give up and stayed on the committee.

It has been said that volunteers are “love in motion” and at Heart ‘n Home, we couldn’t agree more! Volunteering is a profound expression of love – love for others, love for life, love for community and country, and love for self. We see it every day, all day, as we interact with our Volunteers.

This month as you celebrate Valentine’s Day amid a flood of love songs on the radio and advertisements for cards, flowers, candy, and other trimmings, remember that at Heart ‘n Home, our business is all about love and our ability to spread that love around is made possible by Volunteers who, as important members of our care team, enable us to “affirm life by providing emotional, physical, and spiritual support to our patients and to those who love and care for them.” To us, a world without volunteers is just as unimaginable as a world without love.

Not long ago, a Heart ‘n Home Volunteer wrote that she “learned the meaning of joy” during one particular patient visit. Would you like to experience a love like that? You can! As a Heart ‘n Home Volunteer, you have endless possibilities and opportunities. Contact us about becoming a Volunteer. You’ll love it!

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Hospice Volunteer of the Month – December 2014

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Hospice Volunteer of the Month – December 2014
Brian Hohstadt – La Grande, Oregon

Brian has been volunteering with Heart ‘n Home since March. He is a wonderful Volunteer and had years of experience before coming to us. Most of Brian’s fondest childhood memories are of time spent with his grandparents growing up on a dairy farm, surrounded by animals. He was a candy striper at a small hospital as a teenager.  He has always had the desire to give time to the elderly in his community.

Brian’s beautiful French bulldog, Blake, is a certified pet therapy dog that accompanies him on his visits. Becoming a certified pet therapy team takes a lot of dedication and teamwork, but Brian and Blake have proven themselves to be an amazing team!

Brian and Blake are currently serving four Heart ‘n Home patients in La Grande. The joy that our patients get from having pet therapy (seeing Blake) is invaluable and makes Brian and Blake a wonderful addition to our Heart ‘n Home family.

The philosophy that Brian has about volunteering is truly inspiring. As he says, “I always hoped that at least one person in my life’s path would be thankful that I was here.  I know Blake is doing that, ten-fold, and I am there to support him, and to listen.  I am a good listener. As a team, I think we are making a difference.  When we enter a facility and are greeted with huge smiles, hugs, and ‘I was waiting for you to get here,’ that tells me my life has not been in vain.”

Volunteer in Hospice

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