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National Volunteer Week 2024

By: Irene Gonzalez

Hospice volunteers play a vital role in  providing compassionate care and support to terminally ill patients and their families. Their presence can greatly enhance the quality of life for patients by offering companionship, emotional support, and active listening. Volunteers often bring unique skills and perspectives to their roles, enriching the care experience for patients and their families. Volunteers can also help alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness often experienced by individuals receiving end-of-life care, promoting a sense of dignity and comfort in their final days. Their dedication and selflessness make a significant difference in the lives of those facing end of life. At HOPE, we value our hospice volunteers for their time and dedication spent with our patients and families. 

In honor of Volunteer Week, we asked our hospice volunteers to shed some light on what volunteering means to them.

Volunteering with hospice patients has been a heartwarming journey, offering me glimpses into lives filled with love and cherished memories. One patient that stood out to me shared stories of fishing adventures with his beloved wife, casting lines in Cass Lake, Minnesota, and the shores of the Big Island in Hawaii. As he reminisced about the joys of his past, it was clear that each memory held a special place in his heart, illuminating the richness of a life well-lived.

Through my volunteer experiences, I've learned the power of simply being there, of offering empathy and respect as we accompany each person on their unique journey. To me, hospice is a sanctuary of compassion and dignity, offering both medical care and heartfelt support.

  • Kevin V.

We will all face the end of life at some point.   Some of us will pass suddenly while others may become ill and be faced with passing sooner rather than later.  This can take a toll on not only the patient, but also the family. Now that I am semi-retired and have some additional time, I wanted to start focusing some of my energies on making this world a little better for others.  I just was not sure what I wanted to do.   A friend of mine had a niece who died at a young age from cancer, and my friend could not say enough good things about hospice.  This triggered memories of losing my own Mother when I was only 25 years old.  She had hospice at the end, and I remember that being such a huge help to our family.  

At that moment, I knew how I wanted to help others, so I contacted Hope Hospice to see if I could cook meals for the families of hospice patients.   Although the cooking part has not worked out yet, I have been fortunate enough to be matched with a patient that has brought me as many blessings as I have brought her.   I also have the chance to communicate with her family and they really appreciate the visit updates since they live far away.  It helps them to know that someone is taking time to look in on their loved one on a social level.

This is what volunteering with Hope Hospice means to me – giving back, helping make the world a little better place by focusing on others, and helping patients and families through the end of life by providing companionship, social stimulation, and love.

  • Stacey G.

As a volunteer in hospice, it means everything to me. It truly is a wonderful experience working alongside the nicest, most caring staff and most amazing patients. I spend my time giving companionship to patients and they give me advice on what really matters in life. It truly is inspiring, listening to one’s life story and learning so much. Hospice is truly a beautiful service to give terminal patients and their loved ones. I am beyond blessed to be a part of it and volunteer. 

  • Jacki F.


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