Volunteer Stories

At the heart of our organization is our volunteers. Below are some stories about their experiences.

If you would like to submit a story please email us to discuss requirements.

Sitting Vigil as a Hospice Volunteer

It has been 2 years now since I started volunteering in the capacity of sitting Vigil during nighttime hours for terminally ill patients with Hospice. These are patients who, under palliative care, have come to the end of their life journey. I serve most patients in care facilities such as Hospice House, Cottonwoods, Millcreek and others, but some are at home as well.

I often will get a phone call in the early evening or morning asking me to sit with people in their final hours of life from 2am to 6am. I count it a privilege to be part of... Read more

 Kathleen

It’s Friday afternoon. The October sun is shining, while the faint chill of fall swirls the parking lot dust around my bare ankles. I enter the building through the sliding doors. There is something about those doors and the strange feeling when they close behind you. Again the little voice inside my head asking, “What are you doing here?” I am used to it now, so I just ignore it. This place is supposed to be like home. Oh, this is just like home! Here comes my crazy neighbor now, the one that pushes himself backwards in his wheelchair, all day through the hallways. He has... Read more

Hospice Volunteer Helps Palliative Patient with Therapeutic Touch

"Relaxation, guided imagery, creative visualization and gentle music can be very valuable in helping Hospice patients get to a peaceful, healing place within themselves."

Looking back over the 21 years I have been involved with hospice patients I see, in my mind’s eye, a whole cavalcade of patients, many of whom I can recall vividly whilst other have been gently erased. I have gravitated to the more spiritual side of the hospice mandate – and by that I do not mean religious – I wouldn’t presume to. So, I combine... Read more

Gwen

I’m told Gwen is a lovely woman in room 202 who loves visitors. I easily walk into her room, looking forward to meeting her and spending time with her. She is new to hospice house. I introduce myself and after a brief conversation she quickly asks me, “With brain cancer, I’m told it shouldn’t be long. Do you know if it will happen quickly?”

 “I’m not sure. I don’t have any knowledge about that.” I reply. There seems to be an almost ease for her knowing we won't be talking about any medical aspects.

Gwen’s short, grey hair is falling out. It litters the pillow behind... Read more

Sue

A Bedside Volunteer's Reflection of her Experiences

What volunteering has shown me...

I often reflect on my experiences so far at Hospice House and my mind always connects to one of my first shifts as a volunteer. My first shift was memorable in the sense that everything was new and I felt somewhat unsure whether I could actually remember the pages of information we had sifted through over the previous weeks. I was no longer shadowing, so this felt quite different. But I somehow muddled through and tried not to bother Margaret too much with repetitive questions.... Read more

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