As we celebrate our country's 242nd birthday this month, Ireflect on our many freedoms, including how and where we wish to volunteer. The choice you have made to volunteer for Community Hospice & Palliative Care gives us a great reason to celebrate you!
We have highlighted several of our wonderful volunteers in this newsletter. On a monthly basis, more than 200 volunteers are responsible for more than 340 volunteer assignments withour patients. Thanks to all of our terrific volunteers that faithfully visit our patients.
Whether you visit a patient, process donations at our thrift shops, help at a healthcare expo, welcome guests at one of our front desks at a Center for Caring, delight someone with your pet therapy dog, or provide clerical support for one of our departments - thank you for helping us create a winning team! All volunteer opportunities provide a meaningful service to Community Hospice & Palliative Care's patients, families and staff! We offer a BIG Thank You!
This newsletter contains a lot of wonderful things that are happening in the Volunteer Services department for Community Hospice & Palliative Care. If you have a volunteer experience you want to share with us, please email your story to your volunteer coordinator.
Mike Self had a long term volunteer assignment with a special patient and his family for one year. While under the care of Community Hospice & Palliative Care, the patient called three locations and teams home. Each time the patient transferred, Mike faithfully followed him to the new address. Miles and gas didn't mean a thing to Mike.
His visits and time spent with the patient meant the most to him. In fact, there were times when the volunteer coordinator would call to notify Mike that the patient had transferred teams, and he already knew. The patient's family would think of notifying Mike just as they would a member of the family.
Mike not only served a big role in the last year of the patient's life, but he continued his bond to the patient's memorial service. The family asked Mike to serve as a participant in the memorial service. "I am grateful to have witnessed the creation and maintenance of this strong and impactful relationship," states Celeste Pattee, volunteer coordinator for Acosta Rua. "Thank you, Mike, for giving so much of your heart!"
Patient family volunteer Mike Self, (left) with spouse of the patient he served for one year on the right.
There will be an Annual Volunteer Training event at the University Center on the campus of the University of North Florida. The schedule is as follows:
Transportation is available for the following designated locations: Orange Park, Acosta-Rua, Hadlow, St. Augustine and Fernandina Beach.
ACTION STEP: RSVP today by calling 904.407.7063.
On Thursday, May 31, Volunteer Tim Lynch traveled to Lake City to perform the first volunteer veteran-to-veteran pinning ceremony for a patient on our 3A team. Tim is a retired Navy Captain. The patient was a 96-year-old Army veteran who served in WWII. Virginia Davidson, an LPN on the 3A team, participated in the touching event. Volunteer Coordinator Celeste Pattee said, "I am so grateful to Tim for taking the time and effort to honor our patient in this beautiful tribute. The picture of them saluting each other really tugs at my heart." We hope to offer many more volunteer veteran-to-veteran pinnings. If you are interested in helping, contact your volunteer coordinator.
Volunteer at Whitey's Fish Camp
The Annual Bass Masters Tournament at Whitey's Fish Camp runs through August 30th. We could still use a few volunteers to help sell the 50/50 raffle tickets on Thursday nights. The shift is usually from about 6 p.m. -8:30 p.m., depending on the sunset time. Consider signing up for one shift per month between now and August. If you can't commit to a monthly shift, we'd still love to have you come out and help on any date you're available! By volunteering your time for this fundraiser you are providing vital support to the patients and families we serve. We could not do this without you! To sign up for a shift or for any questions, please email or call Melissa Eisermen, special events coordinator, at MEiserman@communityhospice.com at 904.407.6139.
Teen Advisory Board: Supporting Community PedsCare
Do you know a teen who is passionate about helping children? If so, the Teen Advisory Board is a great opportunity to do just that while also raising program awareness and funds for Community PedsCare. The board was created in 2008 by a group of local high school students with a desire to help others. Board members are ambassadors for the PedsCare program and volunteer at events such as Halloween Doors & More and the PedsCare Christmas Party. The group also plans and runs the annual Diamond D Ranch event for PedsCare patients and their families and raises money to support PedsCare through Suds and Shred, a car wash and shredding event, held at our Beach Blvd. thrift shop. Many in the group also create fundraising events through their schools. The Teen Advisory Board is a way to support PedsCare and satisfy volunteer hour requirements all while having fun with other local teens. Please visit: https://www.communityhospice.com/foundation/the-foundation/teenadvisory-board/ to sign up now.
As you know, Pet Peace of Mind provides an opportunity for you to help us with the pet needs of our patients. Since starting this program in 2014, we have provided (196) services for the dogs and cats of our patients, and adopted out (37) dogs and (31) cats.
Currently, we have four cats and one dog that need a furr-ever home.
If you are interested or know someone interested in adopting or fostering one or more of these pets, please contact Chris Whitney at CWhitney@communityhospice.com or 904.407.5204.
It is not too soon to start planning for the annual Pet Peace of Mind Fundraiser on November 3. We are looking for vendors and sponsors. If you know of possible sources, please contact Chris Whitney.
Do you or someone you know have a pet with the potential to do pet therapy? We are always looking to expand our team. Click here to learn more about our Pet Therapy program and requirements needed to join.
This year, please help us add to our volunteer team by asking your relatives or friends to consider volunteering with Community Hospice & Palliative Care. To complete a volunteer application, send them to Volunteer.CommunityHospice.com.
We are excited to announce that Community Hospice & Palliative Care is adding a new volunteer opportunity called "Meal Assistant Volunteers." This opportunity will target patients who live in long-term care facilities and who have uncomplicated feeding needs. Training for this opportunity will consist of two 4-hour sessions over two days. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact Nicole Reed by email at NReed@communityhospice.com or call 904.738.9330.
Storytelling has been a huge part of Community Hospice & Palliative Care's success and legacy. Hearing the testimonies of patients and families strengthens our 40-year legacy and guides how we provide compassionate care.
Volunteer stories do the same. Our advance care planning department has received a grant to produce a new video to use for community education. We would like to highlight a story about the situation of someone who experienced family conflict due to not having an advance care plan in place or from not discussing end-of-life care wishes in advance with a loved one.
If you have experienced this, we want to hear your story for the video. Please call Bonnie Bedenbaugh at 904.407.6425 to share your story or for more information.
The Volunteer Services Department is available to help you at any time. The main volunteer number is 904.407.7064
For a complete list of the Volunteer Services Department, click here.
You can also visit the website at Volunteer.CommunityHospice.com.