Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Helping in Any Little (OR BIG) Way I Can

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve.... You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Hospice of Southern Illinois finds our volunteers extremely important and vital to our organization because all hospices have to provide 5% of the patient care hours by volunteers for Medicare Regulations. If anyone knows how to serve, it is Hospice of Southern Illinois’ dedicated volunteer team documenting 16,465 volunteer hours for 2010!!! Although we have a stunning group, we can never have enough help for two reasons; one, because as we grow our volunteer base must grow to make sure we follow the Medicare Regulations of at least 5% of patient care hours provided by volunteers, and, two, because some volunteers (YOU) have special talents to share with this organization that other volunteers may not have.
Have you ever wanted to be a part of team? Have you ever thought about giving a priceless gift, time? Have you always wanted to volunteer? Let’s see if you fit in with our team. We have volunteers from 16 years old to 93 years old from all walks of life and with varying backgrounds. One thing they ALL have is a heart for our mission – to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by terminal illness. If this sounds like you, please call 618.235.1703 and ask for one of our Volunteer Coordinators, Susan Relfe, Sally Koval or Crista Birtcher. Below are a few ways you can help and a story from one of our dedicated volunteers!

Volunteer staff supports our mission in numerous ways:
  • Patient Care – Patient Visits, Relais Bonne Eau (Community Hospice Home), Sitting bedside at the end of life, and others
  • Community Education – Health Fairs, Parades, Cookie Baking, and others
  • Fundraising Events – Golf Tournament, Smash Bash, Chili Cook Off, Dashin’ for Compassion 5K, and others
  • Office Work – special mailings, computer work, filing, crafting, and others

Continue reading for Toni’s Story:
“My name is Toni Miller and I am a volunteer for Hospice of Southern Illinois helping out in the Belleville Office.  I bake cookies, put together Training Manuals for new volunteers, type lists, do mailings, etc.

I first realized the great things hospice does back in the late 90’s when a good friend became terminally ill and hospice came in to help.  Since that time there have been several friends who had the need to call upon hospice for assistance.

In 1998 my sister was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and if it were not for the help and care of hospice it would have been an even greater burden on my parents and myself to care for her.  One of the best things was the availability of a social worker who came to my sister’s home to “just talk”.  There were things my sister needed to get off her chest that would have made the situation even harder for my parents.  After all this time I still keep in touch with that young lady and have enjoyed very much being able to do this.

Then in late 2004 my mother was diagnosed with lung and bone cancer.  Her doctor immediately called in hospice even though she was able to get around quite well and was not actually feeling any effects of her disease.  In early 2005 my father had a heart attack and a viral infection and was in intensive care for 10 days.  As a result of this it was necessary to put both of them in a nursing home because my father refused to go into a nursing home by himself; he felt he needed to be at home taking care of my mother.  The help of the nursing home staff and hospice care for my mother were a godsend to me. It was difficult dealing with my father’s illness and his determination that he would be able to return to his home.

My mother passed away in July 2005 and then early in 2006 I needed, again, to seek Hospice care for my father.  He had a failing kidney and congestive heart problems which necessitated almost a monthly trip to the hospital soon after my mother passed away.  My father passed away in June 2006 at which time I decided that I needed to make a change and decided to retire from my job.

A couple of years ago I had lunch with a friend that I hadn’t seen for years and she told me she was quite involved with Hospice of Southern Illinois in the Sparta area and asked if I would be interested in being a volunteer.  I said yes and asked her to send me the information. Then I enrolled in an orientation class.  I just wanted to give back a little of what my family and I had received through hospice care, even though my family’s hospice care was in the St. Louis area.

So here I am helping in any little way I can in the office.”

Share your volunteer or hospice story by commenting on this blog! If you want to volunteer, call today 618.235.1703! We can’t wait to work with you through your gift of time and talents!
Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message, Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones! No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help!

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education

* * *

My name is Christine Juehne, and I have worked as a community educator for four years at Hospice of Southern Illinois, a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). I will be your hospice guru answering questions, covering stories, and informing you about all hospice topics. I welcome you to our blog! Follow our journey to stay committed to our mission, enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness! If you have further questions about Hospice of Southern Illinois or general hospice questions please feel free to call 618-235-1703 or e-mail me at cjuehne@hospice.org!

No comments:

Post a Comment