There are many reasons that people give their time to help others. Finding personal fulfillment. Giving it back. Showing their gratitude for what they have.
For Sally Roberts, a Fond du Lac resident, volunteering as a meal server at the expanded Agnesian HealthCare Hospice Home of Hope is a mission with deep meaning.
“I have lost two of my four children and being a volunteer at the Hospice Home of Hope helps me,” Sally explains. “I am here to give back all the hugs and love I have received. In one way or another, I have always been a caregiver.”
Sally shares that Hospice Hope caregivers came into her son’s home and eventually he was admitted at the Hospice Home of Hope, located off Highway K. “During that time, my son said ‘Mom, you need to work out here.’ I was already thinking about it and seven months later I joined the volunteer team.”
That was three years ago. As a “meal” volunteer, Sally helps taking patients’ orders, setting up the trays and delivering the meals.
”I like coming in early to make sure I get to spend a little time with the patients and their families,” she says. “I have an opportunity to get to know them and share my reasons as to why I volunteer here. I let them know they are not in this alone and that I am so honored to have this job….which is not a job.”
Sally says she also likes to look at their pictures and find out what they did for living. “This way we always have something to talk about.”
There are great rewards that Sally has experienced in her volunteer role.
“It’s so gratifying to see the smiles on our patients’ faces and knowing that after I have met them, they are reassured they will be well taken care of,” she explains. “Even if the patients do not know you, they feel comforted by you when you get to their room and say ‘good morning,’ touch their arm, and are gentle in tone and touch. I am an uplifting person and families have thanked me and said to me that I have helped them through this journey. I try to make them all (patients and families) as happy as I can.”
Sally admits that her personal experience with her son has helped her as a volunteer.
“As a volunteer, I have been able to help friends transition and accept to be transferred to the Hospice Home of Hope. Personally knowing the benefits of hospice and understanding that no one needs to face this journey alone, I have been able help others transition into a loving and caring service.”
Hospice Hope offers a supportive, palliative (comfort versus cure) and compassionate care program to patients who have a life-threatening illness, and do not want, or cannot proceed with, aggressive curative treatment. Hospice Hope care offers a team of caring people trained to meet the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of patients who have a limited life expectancy, as well as the needs of their families and caregivers.
There are as many volunteer opportunities as there are individual preferences for service. In addition to the Hospice Home of Hope, volunteers are being sought in the following communities – Eden, Fond du Lac, Johnsburg, Marytown, Mt. Calvary, St. Cloud and St. Peter.
For more information about volunteering at the Hospice Home of Hope and the next volunteer training session, call Staci Schumacher at (920) 924-4663 or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.