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

Volunteer Appreciation Week 2015

Volunteer Appreciation Week 2015
Transforming the Community, One Relationship at a Time
Written by:  Sarah Poe, CPS, Director of Volunteer Services at Heart ‘n Home

Who remembers the day when someone special to them was born? What do we do when we or someone near us experiences a birth? We read books on what to expect. We nest. If it’s your neighbor or friend, you might take a meal or help with errands. You would visit and let them talk about how it’s going and how they’re feeling. You would offer to help. This is the evidence of caring and supportive relationships, the kind that tie family, friends, and neighbors close together in times of change. Somehow along the way, our culture lost the importance of doing this for other times of great change, like at end of life. It’s a mistake to say that small towns are full of independent people who don’t need each other. We’re full of independent people who know how to take care of each other and offer help where we see a need.

By volunteering for hospice, you are living examples of what kind of tightly knit community we can be. When other people don’t know what to say or how to be a comfort when someone near them is grieving or dying or preparing for some other loss, you show up and speak up and do what needs to be done. Maybe it’s helping make a meal, reading books on what to expect, nesting, or most importantly, giving your attention and time. You may not know it, but you are transforming this community, one relationship at a time. Your service to our patients is honored by the entire Heart ‘n Home team and we can’t possibly show you the full impact you have made on the lives of thousands of people in our small towns. Our resilient, determined towns that take care of people from birth through death because of people like you who will serve their neighbors when they really need it. Volunteers are just ordinary people with extraordinary hearts. You offer the gift of time to teach, to listen, to help, to inspire, to build, to grow, to learn. You’ve expected no pay, yet the value of your work knows no limit, right? I hope you’ve known the unexpected joy of holding someone’s hand at bedside. In those small ways, you’ve planted seeds of love in countless lives. Thank you for who you are and all you’ve given.  – Sarah 

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My Experience Volunteering in Hospice

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hannah-bondy-13372This is my first year volunteering as part of the Cicely Ambassador Program at Heart ‘n Home Hospice & Palliative Care. It has been a very rewarding experience, knowing that I am making a difference. It is a commitment, but I know the patients can really use my company and it is always time well spent. Even though one (out of two) of my patients has barely seen my face, I know that she hears my voice. I finished reading Charlotte’s Web to my other patient who is also mostly non-responsive and the smile on her face told me that she was enjoying it. It was even more special because she is for the most part, non-communicative and doesn’t show much emotion.

Volunteering as a Cicely Ambassador touches the lives of those who are on their end-of-life journey. It makes such an impact, not only on the patient, but on their family and friends as well. Reading or playing a card game with a patient, gives them joy while they may be feeling down. Some patients just want someone who they can watch their favorite movie with. The last moments of a person’s life should be special and cherished, not easily forgotten. Volunteering in hospice can be life changing for anyone. I am honored and privileged to be part of the team.

Hannah B.
Cicely Ambassador 2016-2017

Volunteer in Hospice

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