Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Celebrating National Volunteer Week, April 10 - April 16

In a previous post, Healing through the Gift of Volunteering, I noted that at some point in the course of your own grief journey you may find yourself thinking about becoming a hospice volunteer.  The agency with which I was affiliated for 17 years, Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, AZ, was founded by volunteers, and to this day, volunteers at Hospice of the Valley are considered vital members of the team, supporting dying patients and their families and offering respite care.  As part of HOV's Bereavement Services, they assist staff members with office tasks, special projects, sending condolence cards and preparing bulk mailings.  Through periodic telephone calls over a 13-month period following the death, volunteers offer compassion, understanding and support, as well as referral to appropriate resources, to bereaved individuals whose family members were Hospice of the Valley patients.

This is National Volunteer Week, and hospices all over the country are recognizing the vital role played by volunteers in caring for dying patients and their families.  According to the Hospice Foundation of America, over 460,000 hospice volunteers provide more than 20 million hours of service annually.  If you're thinking about becoming a hospice volunteer and want to learn more, take 16 minutes to watch this informative video:

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© by Marty Tousley, RN, MS, FT, DCC


  1. Visiting Nurse Service of New York hospice volunteer Abby Spilka wrote an inspiring piece on why she volunteers. Check out why she calls it "sacred time" at

  2. Are people that make home made greeting cards to give to Hospice doctors, nurses & aids, chaplains to GIVE to the patients or persons needing the care, considered Hospice Volunteers even though they do not interact with the patient? The hours for the cards we contribute is reported for Federal funding.

  3. Dear Anonymous, I certainly would consider what you do to be valuable volunteer work for hospice. There are as many ways to donate your time and talent to hospice as there are good people like yourself who are doing it every day. On behalf of all those hospice doctors, nurses, nursing aides and chaplains for whom you're making greeting cards, I say "Thank you and bless you for all you do!"


Your comments are welcome!