Written by Diane Tomasi, Big Bend Hospice Wednesday, 18 April 2012 11:31
A Big Bend Hospice family member calls to have someone come sit with their mother so they can go to a graduation ceremony.A grieving husband receives a phone call from a volunteer who is checking in to see how he is holding up. A patient in his last days receives honor and thanks form a team of volunteers who are also veterans. A group of community members discuss how to make sure that all of their neighbors in need of hospice services are aware of the support that Big Bend Hospice offers. All of these caring people live and work right here in Wakulla County and share their time and energy as Big Bend Hospice volunteers.
Big Bend Hospice was founded by volunteers 29 years ago to provide a different, more compassionate way to finish life’s journey. Today we serve over 146 patients each year in Wakulla County and within our eight-county service area we serve 1,741 patients last year.
Volunteering does not necessarily mean working directly with patients. Although all of our patients and their families are offered a volunteer to help with errands, provide transportation and offer companionship, there are many other opportunities to volunteer. Advisory Council members, for example, meet monthly and act as ambassadors in their community, advising Big Bend Hospice on issues in their county and helping to increase awareness of hospice services. These committed men and women are stay-at-home moms, business people and retirees, but each has in common the desire to help others. “As a volunteer with Big Bend Hospice, I always get back more than I give” says Kathryn Beaty, a volunteer with the Wakulla County Advisory Council and a patient/family volunteer.
During National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 15 - 21, Big Bend Hospice salutes the caring men and women who volunteer in Wakulla County. “These special people are enriching lives and making a difference to hospice families,” says Pam Raker Allbritton, Community Resource Coordinator for Big Bend Hospice. “They not only sit at bedsides, they hand out information at fairs and festivals, they put together goodie bags, they bake and speak on our behalf at clubs and churches. They are the heart and soul of our organization.”
Currently, the following people serve as Big Bend Hospice volunteers in Wakulla County: Ruby Allen, Sherrie Alverson, Tammie Barfield, Kathryn Beaty, Sharol Brown, Sondra Brown, Mike Compton, David Conn, Karen Day, Becky Finch, Maxine Flint, Amy Geiger, Claudia Glover, Don Henderson, Mila Hills, Roy Lima, Alan McManus, Linda Magann, Billy Mills, Ida Moore, Linda Shelton, Ray Somera, Bill Versiga, and Mary Katherine Westmark.
If you are interested in becoming a Big Bend Hospice volunteer please call Pam at (850) 926-9308 for more information or to apply for the next volunteer orientation session. Be part of the Heart of Big Bend Hospice—volunteer.
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