Volunteer Appreciation Week 2015 - Heart 'n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC

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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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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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

Volunteering Is a Way to Make Deep Connections

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picture1I am a junior at Fruitland High School. This year I became a Cicely Ambassador at Heart ‘n Home in Fruitland and I have nothing but positive things to say about my experiences!

My mom recommended this program to me as she was a Volunteer Opportunities in the past.  I decided to give it a chance and see what it was all about. After receiving my patients and visiting them for the first time, I realized that there is so much more to volunteering than many people care to realize. Putting in volunteer hours shouldn’t be something that only makes you look like a good person on the surface. For me, volunteering is a way to make deep connections with people who need help and build strong relationships with them. There is no better feeling than knowing you were a friend to someone, or knowing you helped somebody when they needed you most.

Whether I am reading to my patients or just listening to them tell their favorite stories, I am happy to be in their presence and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to be their friend when they need one the most!

Parker L.
Cicely Ambassador 2016-2017

Volunteer in Hospice

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