Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon declared the first National Volunteer Week to recognize Americans who give of their time and talents to benefit others. This was the same year, 1974, that the Connecticut Hospice — one of the first hospices in the country — opened its doors changing the way dying persons were cared for in the U.S.
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During National Volunteer Week to April 12, Snowline Hospice is honoring its dedicated volunteers who provide support, companionship and dignity to members of the community facing serious and life-limiting illness.
“Hospice care began as a grassroots volunteer-driven movement in this country 40 years ago and without volunteers, we could not do the work we have been doing at Snowline Hospice since 1981,” said Michael Schmidt, executive director.
Many volunteer hours
More than 97 clinical volunteers provide 9,237 hours and drive 76,873 miles per year to help Snowline Hospice care for patients and families in the community. More than 242 thrift store volunteers provided 57,590 hours in Snowline Hospice’s stores to help generate funds for caring for community hospice patients.
Hospice volunteers often serve patients and families at the bedside but they also assist in the office, help raise awareness, contribute to educational programs and provide fundraising support and more. In Snowline Hospice Thrift Stores more than 85 percent of the work is performed by giving volunteers.
It is federally mandated under Medicare that five percent of all patient care hours be provided by trained volunteers reflecting the vital role that volunteers play in the provision of care. At Snowline Hospice more than 34 percent of the patient care hours are matched by volunteers.
Volunteer with compassion
Hospice volunteers help the people they serve live every moment of life to the fullest during this precious and important time with as much meaning and compassion as possible. They enable Snowline Hospice to achieve its mission in the community. Most hospice volunteers choose to give their time helping others because of their own experience with the compassionate care hospice provided to a dying loved one.
For those interested in learning more about hospice or volunteer opportunities visit SnowlineHospice.org or call 530-621-7820.