A heart of service – How to volunteer with Big Bend Hospice

To be a volunteer is to be aware of the value of your time, and how that time can be used to impact, develop, and build the community you live in. 

April is National Volunteer Month – a time to look at the people who volunteer their time selflessly to local causes, organizations, and goals. 

This is also a time for those who want to be more involved, but don’t know how, to take that first step in becoming a volunteer with their local organizations. Each week in April, the newspaper will feature a local organization in Gadsden County that depends on volunteers; we will spotlight the community contributions that the organization makes, how volunteers impact the organization, and how – through volunteering – anyone can make a difference. 

Big Bend Hospice 

It takes a special person to dedicate their time and energy to volunteer work – and a unique kind of volunteer, with a heart of gold, to pitch in with Big Bend Hospice. The work accomplished by Big Bend Hospice is crucial and essential to individuals and families who are facing the end of life either for themselves, or for a loved one. Big Bend Hospice volunteers give time and energy to provide comfort and support to patients and families who are facing the end of life; thus ensuring that every patient who has the Big Bend Hospice services is given end-of-life care that is filled with dignity, peace, and comfort. 

Volunteers provide emotional support, companionship, and practical assistance to patients and their families. 

They may help with tasks such as grocery shopping, transportation to appointments, or running errands; they may also spend time with patients, listening to their stories, reading to them, or simply holding the hand of those in need of human connection. “What makes hospice volunteers truly remarkable is their ability to offer comfort and support during a difficult and often emotional time,” said Katie Mandell, Senior Director of Community Engagement at Big Bend Hospice. “They are often the ones who sit with patients who have no family or friends nearby, providing companionship and a listening ear. They offer a comforting presence to patients and families, allowing them to feel less alone during a challenging time.”

In addition to the support that hospice volunteers provide, they are also given a chance to raise awareness about the importance of hospice care; those opportunities for awareness may come in the form of community event participation, public speaking, or just sharing their volunteering experience with others. 

“Through their advocacy, they help to ensure that more people are aware of the options available to them at the end of life,” said Mandell. 

Like other volunteer positions, the work done at Big Bend Hospice is unpaid. Volunteers at Big Bend Hospice are willing to contribute to an incredible cause without the expectation of monetary compensation. 

“Their work is invaluable, and they offer an important reminder of the power of compassion and community,” concluded Mandell. “We are incredibly fortunate to have these individuals in our communities, and we should take the time to recognize and thank them for all that they do.” 

For more information about becoming a trained volunteer with Big Bend Hospice, visit bigbendhospice.org or contact Mandell directly at kcmandell@bigbendhospice.org

Ashley Hunter  – Gadsden County News Service 


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