Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care recently recognized its volunteers at its annual volunteer appreciation event. With a theme of “Making a Difference, One Stitch at a Time,” volunteers were honored and recognized for their support of the mission of the not-for-profit hospice.
“We thank our volunteers for their service and their support of our mission,” said Annetta Dellinger, manager of Volunteer Services at Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care. “They truly make a difference in the lives of our patients and their families, one stitch at a time.”
Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care offers volunteer programs to provide services and support programs that assist patients and families beyond medical care as part of the interdisciplinary care team. Volunteers play a crucial role in meeting the Medicare Hospice Benefit requirement to provide 5% of patient care. Volunteers contribute to patient care through defined roles under the supervision of a hospice staff member.
They can choose to provide direct patient care or indirect support. Direct care volunteers visit patients wherever they call home to provide companionship and respite for caregivers, transportation to appointments, run errands, and deliver supplies. Indirect care volunteers assist with general office duties, participate in fundraising and community education, and assist with building and grounds maintenance tasks. As part of the American Pride® Veteran Care by Ohio’s Hospice program, Veteran volunteers honor the service of Veteran patients through recognition ceremonies.
“We have a heart for our patients’ caregivers,” Dellinger said. “Our volunteers cook homemade soup or banana bread. They drop them off at the door with a smile and a hug. We let the caregivers know that we are thinking of them.”
Volunteers make fleece blankets and deliver them to patients with a wrapped gift such as cookies or banana bread. They also make special signs and decorations for the doors of Veteran patients in inpatient centers. In addition, they send cards to patients on Valentine’s Day and Thanksgiving.
At the volunteer appreciation event, each volunteer picked up a white fabric square with their picture printed on the fabric. The volunteers then found their table by matching the color of cloth squares. Each volunteer was introduced with a paragraph written about the things they do in their volunteer role. They worked with others at the table to make a mini quilt. The mini quilts will be stitched together to create a wall hanging quilt.
“Our volunteers are passionate about their volunteer work,” Dellinger said. “They play a vital role as members of the hospice care team.”
Here are a few comments from some of the Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care volunteers.
- Kay Carl has been volunteering for seven years with Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care. “I felt hospice volunteering was a calling,” she said. “I truly enjoy visiting patients and making and baking things for them. I also like working in the office as needed.”
- Dee Greene has been volunteering for seven years. “God has blessed me in so many ways, and I want to give back and share with others. I visit patients, make and send cards to patients, help with various events, make blankets, arrange and deliver flowers, and help with office work.”
- Pam Koons has been a volunteer for four years. She had worked at a local store for several years, but she wanted to do something more meaningful. She visits with patients. “I wanted to do more for Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care,” she said. “That is where my passion is.”
- Linda Thrush has been volunteering for three years because she likes to give back and help others. She does office work, makes crafts, and cooks and bakes treats. “I try to help wherever I’m needed,” she said. “I reap so many rewards, and I love my co-volunteers.”
- Beth Schwind has been volunteering for two years. She leads the birthday and flower program at Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care. She makes birthday cards and sends them to patients with a note. She also is instrumental in making Valentine’s Day cards for patients. “It’s a joy to bring some sunshine into a person’s life who is going through such a difficult time,” she said.
Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care is an affiliate of Ohio’s Hospice. Based in Marysville, Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care began in 1993 as a grass-roots organization to provide hospice services to patients and their families in Union and Madison counties. It also provides home healthcare services in Madison County. The not-for-profit hospice helps patients to live with dignity, comfort and control by establishing goals for a better quality of life. The hospice team serves patients wherever the patient calls home, involving patients and family in choices and decisions.