Helping our neighbors and friends is a fulfilling act and now there is an opportunity to carry out that deed by becoming a volunteer with Hospice of Morrow County.
The Volunteer Training program is scheduled for Saturday, September 27 at the Hospice office, 228 South Street, Mount Gilead. The training will be held from 10 am to 3 pm with a break for lunch.
Ruth Reeve, who wears several “hats” in her volunteer work with Hospice, is the Training Coordinator for the day.
Staff will carry out the training and they will cover several points including the origin and history of the Hospice Movement, the role as a volunteer (the opportunities available), direct care service, providing a respite and also volunteering in indirect care such as helping with the annual Hearts for Hospice Auction.
They will also be invited to help in the office and with the Bereavement Service. Reeve said “We follow up with the family for 13 months after a passing and offer services to the bereaved family.” She said volunteers also help with the Children’s Grief Program workshop.
Clara Hilton, who has been on the Hospice board for nine years and a volunteer for seven years, said the training also explains what it is all about and how to handle certain situations “I was already on the board and some of the things I was doing they couldn’t count to the government because I had not had the volunteer training,” said Clara.
“One of the things I enjoy doing is sitting with patients to give the caregiver a break if they have errands to do. I like the interaction with patients - I always get more than I give, “ said Clara. “I’m sent to take care of them but I come back with good feelings about how they deal with the end of life.”
Clara also heads up the silent auction on the night of the Hearts for Hospice Auction and she does the solicitation for it.
Clara is also talented with her hands and heads up the crochet shop program where each patient receives a Comfort Shawl. “I crochet and make Bereavement Bears, the family can bring a garment and I make a Teddy Bear of it. If they want more they can make a donation to Hospice - $10 a bear.” She added that another young lady helps by making shawls.
Sometimes she volunteers for six to eight hours a week, noting that it varies from one to three times a week.
“I encourage everyone who has an interest and extra time - it isn’t always dealing with the patient- there may be paper work to do” and she pointed out that several years ago one man built a ramp for a woman. “Volunteers have been around for a long time - we need young people!”
Brandi Courts, a volunteer with the Children’s Grief Camp and a licensed Social Worker with the Salvation Army, will help with the volunteer training, also. “This will help bring a cohesiveness with Hospice and a sensitivity of the client we work with. It’s a great opportunity to give back to the community.”
Courts, a Spanish teacher at Gilead Christian School, and is working on her Masters degree in Social Work from Walden University, said
“We have mixed views on death -we need to be more open on grief and death and this training can help people - it brings a certain enlightenment.” Courts added “We need more volunteers to spend time with the family as well as the client - just to listen and be there as extra support”
Reeve said they are seeking volunteers for the program through word of mouth, public service announcements and this story.
There is a requirement that a volunteer serve a year or longer. Applica-
tion can be made by contacting Hospice at 419-946-9822. The applicant will be invited for an interview during which they can explain why they want to be a volunteer.
Karen Veronica, executive director of Hospice of Morrow County, invites volunteers who are barbers or beauticians to join them.
“Many times a haircut or trim in the home of a patient makes them feel better.”
She also extends an invitation to veterans who will volunteer to help recognize and honor patients and others who have served their county in the military. “Expressing gratitude for military service is very important to Hospice of Morrow County”