"Angels Among Us" by Kellie Patti, HSM Volunteer Services Manager
Two important anniversaries are being celebrated this year. It was forty years ago that President Richard Nixon declared the first National Volunteer Week and it was that same year, 1974, that the first hospice in America opened its doors in Connecticut. Even before the first hospice began to serve the community, volunteers were an integral part of the way that hospice brought care, compassion and dignity to the patients and families they selflessly served.
April 6th – 12th is National Volunteer Week and during this important time of recognition it’s fitting that we honor all of our volunteers for the heroic work they do to ensure people at end of life find comfort, love and respect.
Right here in our community, more than 140 trained volunteers are working with Hospice of Southern Maine. They give of themselves to support others during one of life’s most challenging experiences – the journey at life’s end. These dedicated volunteers are helping patients and families live as fully as possible and our community is better because of their service.
We’re grateful to our committed volunteers, who are so essential to the work that we do. They spend time at the bedside, provide help and respite to family caregivers, participate with outreach efforts, assist in the office, provide fundraising support, and much more. They are angels among us. On behalf of all of us at Hospice of Southern Maine, thank you, to all of our volunteers, for helping us every day to achieve our mission of Compassion, Care and Comfort.
To celebrate these dedicated individuals, we’ll be hosting a Volunteer Appreciation Open House at our Main Office on April 8th where we’ll bring volunteers and staff together to enjoy some treats and possibly win a prize!
I encourage others to learn more about becoming a Hospice Volunteer by visiting our web site at www.hospiceofsouthernmaine.org/volunteering or by calling (207) 289-3652.
Written by Hospice of Southern Maine Volunteer Services Manager, Kellie Patti