POWER OF ONE EASES FINAL JOURNEYSby Tricia Degan
Niagara Hospice is looking to grow the number of volunteer services the organization provides to hospice patients and has launched a volunteer campaign to recruit dedicated and compassionate individuals looking for fulfilling volunteer experiences that truly make a difference - qualities all hospice volunteers are known for. The Power of One campaign illustrates how one hour a week from one volunteer can result in many lives changed, including that of the volunteer. Niagara Hospice volunteer Barbara Reed said, "Hospice volunteers feel privileged to be part of each patient's journey. When one of my patients learned I was a volunteer, she asked me why I do it. I told her it was because I didn't want her to be alone. She smiled and was so touched by that, and that made me feel good."
To help grow the volunteer force, the Niagara Hospice Alliance has announced two new volunteer training sessions. The first is scheduled at 5:00-9:00pm on March 12 and 13 at the Niagara Hospice administrative building, 4675 Sunset Drive, Lockport. Anyone interested in registering for the training should call the Niagara Hospice Alliance at 280-0780 by March 8.
A second session is scheduled at 5:00-9:00pm on April 10 and 11at the Niagara Falls Conference and Event Center at 101 Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls. Anyone interested in registering for this training should call the Niagara Hospice Alliance at 280-0780 by April 5.
"Many Hospice volunteers say they get more from their volunteer experience than what they give. If you can give even as little as an hour a week, we have rewarding experiences waiting for you," said Mandy Raff, event and volunteer services coordinator. Raff said volunteer positions include patient related and non-patient related jobs. Volunteers are especially needed to simply visit with patients and to serve on the volunteer Vigil Team. Visits take place in the patient's or caregiver's home, at Niagara Hospice House and Hospice at Jeanne's House - A Northgate and Niagara Hospice Collaboration, and at area long term care facilities where hospice patients reside. While visiting patients, volunteers may just talk, read the paper or a book to the patient, play cards or do other activities. They may also perform light housework or home repairs, provide transportation for shopping or medical visits for patients who are able to get out, or just provide a hand to hold while the family caregivers take a much deserved break. Veterans are also needed to visit with hospice patients who are veterans as part of the Niagara Hospice We Honor Veterans program.
Raff also said that there are non-patient related volunteer opportunities available with the agency Speakers Bureau, working with events and other fundraisers, maintaining the Memorial Gardens and helping with mailings and office work.
For more information and to complete an application, contact the Niagara Hospice Alliance at 280-0780 or e-mail Raff at MRaff@NiagaraHospice.com. The Niagara Hospice Alliance was established in June 2009 to support the services and programs associated with the charitable mission of Niagara Hospice.