2021 Reverse Raffle Winner Renee Chase Loves Volunteering With Niagara Hospice

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By Emilee Budziszewski, Niagara Hospice Communications & Events intern & Niagara University student

   Renee Chase, last year’s “Stay Home for Hospice” Reverse Raffle $10,000 grand prize winner, has been a Niagara Hospice volunteer for eight years. She became acquainted to Niagara Hospice through her previous job at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and decided that the organization was a great fit during her retirement.
   Her perception of Niagara Hospice has changed since becoming a volunteer. She found that she hadn’t truly appreciated the vast scope of services provided and how much the staff and volunteers do for patients and their families.
   When Renee won $10,000 last year, she did not see it coming. The raffle, like this year’s event on Friday, November 18, was offered virtually and the winning ticket number was announced on Facebook Live. Renee, who is not a Facebook user, was not logged into the live raffle video. When she received the phone call that she was the lucky prize winner, she was very surprised and excited. Renee shared the money with family members and donated a portion back to Niagara Hospice.
   Niagara Hospice is a wonderful resource to the community,” she said. ”They do so much good for families during such a vulnerable time and really takes care of everything that the patients and families need.”
   Through her years of volunteering, Renee has worked a lot with home care patients and families as well as delivering welcome totes and helping at special events. Welcome totes are little packs that volunteers put together for new patients. They include volunteer services information and everyday items, such as pill containers and hand sanitizers.
   While helping with different aspects of the volunteer program, Renee shared that her favorite time of the year is November, when National Hospice and Palliative Care Month is recognized. She joins other volunteers in making cookies and delivering them to the homes of patients’ families.
   “Family members are so appreciative and grateful, as they had never expected to receive anything besides their loved one’s care,” she said. “It’s a nice feeling to help family members during such a challenging time in their lives.”
   Volunteering has also provided Renee with education about different diagnoses and how to handle and cope with difficult situations. On top of that, organized events for the volunteers, like a past wreath making event, allows for the volunteers to grow and connect with each other. Renee really enjoyed getting to know her fellow volunteers.
  “I wholeheartedly recommend volunteering to anyone who is interested,” she said. “You are placed wherever you are comfortable, and you will be thoroughly appreciated in anything you do for the organization, patients and families.”
 

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