Hospice Youth Volunteer Scholarship Winners: Fruitland High School - Heart 'n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC

Hospice Youth Volunteer Scholarship Winners: Fruitland High School

Congratulations to the 2011-2012 Cicely Ambassadors for a very successful year of serving patients and your community, as well as all of the countless moments that will be not be forgotten.  A special congratulations to our scholarship winners from Fruitland High School:

  • Milly Davis ($1,500)
  • Kacie Gastanaga ($1,250)
  • Emily Tingey ($1,250)
  • Daniel Dahle ($1,000)
  • Jandee Carlson (1,000)

We are very proud of your successes and look forward to the 2012-2013 Ambassador Team who are already trained and volunteering.

Pictured Left to right: Todd Stice, CFO, Heart ‘n Home; Milly Davis; Jandee Carlson; and Kacie Gastanaga (Daniel Dahle not pictured)

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Hospice Volunteer of the Month – October 2011

Phyllis was born in Mountain Home, Idaho, and at about the age of three months her family moved to Portland, Oregon. She and her husband, Mike, have been married for 20 years and have five children and five grandchildren. Phyllis has worked as a cook for Elkhorn Adolescence and has spent most of her career cooking; whether it was hiring, managing, or doing the cooking herself. About 16 years ago, Betty and Mike moved to Granite (a little place out of Baker City) to retire. Phyllis likes to play pool, read mysteries or other good novels, and does some quilting in her spare time. Phyllis stays very active in her church, her community, and helps friends and neighbors whenever possible.

Phyllis admits she was nervous for her first Volunteer assignment, and was pleased when it worked out so well! Phyllis states, “Volunteering has led me to want to help and serve others as much as I can.” She laughs and says, “It has helped me learn to deal with all sorts of people and problems.  Some of my patients haven’t talked very much, but they know I am there and I see the light in their eyes and the smile on their faces. It’s wonderful and every experience is different. I enjoy getting to know them and helping where I can, whether it is sitting by their side, holding their hand, or doing their dishes.”

Heart ‘n Home is so happy to have Phyllis as a Volunteer! Thank you, Phyllis for the work and dedication you provide to your patients.

Help us congratulate Phyllis and what she represents to all volunteers!

“I Am A Volunteer” Poem

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A Volunteer I Am

Twenty-four hours in every day,
Where can I go to give some away?
For my time is a gift, my experience is gold,
All I desire is a small hand to hold.

A tear to wipe, a child to soothe,
A lonely patient to comfort when blue,
A harried worker to lend a hand to.

There’s no need for you to strike up a band,
For I rarely seek out the fanfare of man,
I simply have time to give quite away,
To all those in need, to brighten their day.

My time is my own.
I give it for free.
A volunteer I am.
A volunteer I’ll be.

– Eileen Thompson

11th Hour Volunteering: Keeping Vigil with Patients at The Bedside

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As an 11th Hour Volunteer, I have had the privilege of keeping vigil with patients at their bedsides at the very end of their lives. The term vigil comes from the 12th century Old French term vigile, meaning “to watch or guard.” I embrace that implication that I am keeping watch over our patients. Other 11th Hour Volunteers I have talked with at Heart ‘n Home have told me poignant stories from their service keeping vigil. Our experience with patients as they are actively dying is incredibly rewarding. What a honor it is to be a presence when they are most visible. Hospice teaches us about what truly matters and how to live bravely and transparently.

Cicely Saunders, who launched the modern hospice movement, said this of our calling in hospice, “’Watch with me’ means, still more than all our learning of skills, our attempts to understand mental suffering and loneliness and to pass on what we have learnt. It means also a great deal that cannot be understood. Those words did not mean ‘understand what is happening’ when they were first spoken. Still less did they mean ‘explain’ or ‘take away’. However much we can ease distress, however much we can help the patients to find a new meaning in what is happening, there will always be the place where we will have to stop and know that we are really helpless. It would be very wrong indeed if, at that point, we tried to forget that this was so and to pass by. It would be wrong if we tried to cover it up, to deny it and to delude ourselves that we were always successful. Even when we feel that we can do absolutely nothing, we will still have to be prepared to stay. ‘Watch with me’ means, above all, just ‘be there’. I remember the patient who said of the people who had really helped her, ‘They never let you down. They just keep on coming.’”

This is what we do when we keep vigil as 11th Hour Volunteers. We are a crucial part of the team, even as we just watch. Being there is a great comfort to our patients, their families, and our Heart ‘n Home team. We have 11th Hour Volunteer Trainings in every area over the next few months. Please call your local Heart ‘n Home office and sign up with your Volunteer Coordinator. I am also available and would love to talk more with you about this fulfilling way to serve.

Sarah Poe, CPS
Heart ‘n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC

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