Volunteers Come In All Shapes And Sizes

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During our 33 years of service to the community, Delaware Hospice has been touched by the tremendous support of thousands of volunteers. These fun-loving, individuals have donated their time and talents throughout the years in a variety of ways. Within the past year alone, volunteers have donated over 15,200 hours! The quality of life for patients and their families are dramatically improved through the services and visits our volunteers provide. Many of our volunteers come to us and offer up their skills for very unusual projects. While others are able to meet our specific daily needs.

“I don’t have any skills to be a good volunteer with Delaware Hospice,” replied Lisa to a family member. “Don’t worry, we will find something for you,” commented Lisa’s family member. That was 14 years ago, when Lisa first joined Delaware Hospice as a Festival of Trees volunteer. After some encouragement and asking for a position that coincided with her strengths, she has found her place at Delaware Hospice.

Based on skills and wishes, volunteers help in a variety of areas throughout Delaware Hospice. Running errands with or for patients is always a needed service and is a wonderful experience for the volunteer and patient. Visiting with patients in one of our programs, Transitions, Palliative Care, or Hospice Care, is another rewarding volunteer opportunity. Many volunteers choose to talk, read, and play cards with a patient and their family. Other volunteers enjoy helping in the Delaware Hospice office and contribute administratively by updating the database, completing informational packets, or even taking pictures at our events. Volunteers are always able to see how their dedication positively impacts our patients’ lives.

A few of our volunteers have even altered their life’s work based on their volunteer experience.

 delaware_hospice_ond15_clownAs a professional Christian clown, Bill Robbins would visit nursing homes to entertain the residents. He loved making people laugh. One day, he walked into a room and saw that a patient was dying. She had no family or friends with her and that troubled him. During this experience, he realized that people die alone every day and he wanted to do what he could to not let this happen in his community. 

Mr. Robbins learned about the Delaware Hospice Milford Center and wanted to be a part of the mission by becoming a volunteer. Based on his day of shadowing the Center Chaplain, Mr. Robbins decided to become a chaplain. During his six years with Delaware Hospice as a volunteer chaplain, Mr. Robbins has developed a Volunteer Chaplain Training Program. He works with interested chaplain volunteers.

Each day, requests come into the Volunteer Department for volunteers and each day those needs are met. Here are just some of the ways volunteers have saved the day: delaware_hospice_ond15_featured

  • Michael Buchler, Jason Clarke, and Anthony DiMarzo of Williams Agency, Inc. in Wilmington have helped run the New Castle County Golf Outing for many years.
  • Volunteer artisans and designers help decorate the Delaware Hospice Festival of Trees in Hockessin during the holiday season.
  • Staff members from Hopkins & Sons donate their services since 1991 to be the official movers for over 1,000 trees for the New Castle County Festival of Trees.
  • Cindy Wright has been doing database entry, special projects, and has also played cards and looked at family pictures while visiting with patients for the last three years.

“After every visit with Mom, a volunteer calls me with updates regarding her emotional, mental, as well as physical state. I can feel their love and care for my mother through the phone.” A family member who lives in San Francisco, CA and benefits from the generosity of volunteers who donate their time to visit with his mom and provide him updates.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Delaware Hospice volunteer, please email volunteerdhi@delawarehospice.org. There are no time commitments; however any amount of time you are able to give is greatly appreciated. 

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