Recognizing Volunteer Month


 By Lisa Schmidt and Melissa Harris, Niagara Hospice Volunteer Coordinators

Volunteers are often the unsung heroes of nonprofit organizations. They provide vital support for programming, services and administration that may go unnoticed to casual observer. 

Every April, organizations around the country salute their volunteers for all the dedication, hard work and enthusiasm they bring to every shift, every task and special event. This year National Volunteer Week is being commemorated April 17-23. It is an opportunity to celebrate the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to tackle society's greatest challenges, build stronger communities and be a force that transforms the world. 

Volunteers are the foundation for many different functions at Niagara Hospice, consistently sustaining our mission of providing high-quality care, comfort and support through their efficient work and prompt response every time we need them.

We are proud of the 120 volunteers who contribute to our many patient services and general operations support. Each year we are pleased to welcom dozens of new volunteers. Collectively, they provided more than 8,500 total hours of direct-patient services. We are very thankful for all the work they do on a daily basis. 

They are a constant source of companionship for our patients, families and caregivers. In addition to patient and family interactions, they take on a variety of other roles and activities, including pet visits, baking cookies, hairdressing, delivering medical supplies, setting up for fundraising events and office work. They lend significant assistance and expertise in their respective duties to assist the staff in many ways.

Each volunteer brings something special to their role. We have a group of volunteers that calls themselves "Just Desserts." They gather on the second Saturday of each month to provide patients at the Hospice House and their family members with homemade and store-bought desserts. They plan parties for holidays such as Mother's Day, Father's Day and Halloween to give our patients and their families something to look forward to during difficult times.

We are always looking for new volunteers. Anyone can experience the personal rewards that come from giving time and talents to touch the lives of others in their community. We have many different jobs available. Interested candidates can call 280-0710 or 280-0778 or email to learn more about applying for our volunteer program.

We encourage anyone to consider volunteering for an organization they are passionate about and thank a volunteer during National Volunteer Week to shine a light on the people that inspire us every day. Their selfless contributions make a difference in caring for patients, supporting families and improving the quality of life in our communities.


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