On the evening of November 17, 2022, Home Health and Hospice of Dickinson County was able to celebrate their volunteers in person after not doing so since 2019. Adrianne Unruh, Volunteer Coordinator, planned the event that was held at Community Bible Church in Abilene. Many people attended; not only the volunteers being honored, but individuals who wanted to show their appreciation for these special people who give so much of themselves in ways that can be impossible for others.
A hospice volunteer may fill a variety of roles to patients and families, including such tasks as running errands, providing respite for the family caregiver, offering companionship to the patient by playing games, watching TV, reading, or sharing stories. Hospice volunteers can also be present during a patient’s final hours of life. Many people can perform the tasks of a volunteer when it comes to helping with the day-to-day activities, but the task of holding someone’s hand as they close their eyes for the final time takes a special kind of human.
To start the evening, Toni Schwarting, Hospice Advisory Board Vice President and Hospice Volunteer gave a warm welcome to everyone in attendance. Following, Lindsey Brummer, Hospice Chaplain, led the prayer before dinner. As always, Lucinda’s Katering provided an exceptional meal for Memorial Health System staff, Hospice Volunteers, Quilters Guild Members, and guests.
Sister Loretta Jasper of Neighbor to Neighbor, addressed the crowd with passion and wisdom from her many years of experience and spoke on Self Care and Volunteer Impact. She expressed how important it is to take care of yourself when caring for others, and finding what it is that gives you positive energy. It could be a simple phone call to a friend, sitting in nature and listening to the sounds that surround you, taking a walk, reading, exercising; whatever reenergizes you, make sure you find time to do it.
Among the first group to be recognized was the Quilters Guild. Tony Schwarting informed attendees that this group of quilters work together to donate a quilt to every single hospice patient. A huge thank you was given to group leader, Anna Gugler and the other members; Diane Litke, Nancy Boyd, Estella Rankin, LaVeda Montgomery, Kathy Triplett, Andrea Clark, Helen Hellwig, Ann Brussow, Judy Sorenson, Mary Ann Bond, Karen Rigby, and Velda Becker. From 2020 through October of 2022, this group has donated a total of 273 quilts.
Dani Gantner, Director of Home Health and Hospice of Dickinson County, along with Adrianne, recognized volunteers going back to 2020 since circumstances surrounding COVID did not allow any gathering for the last two years.
From 2020 through October of 2022, volunteers have donated a total of 1,484.45 hours, traveled a total of 10,378.3 miles, and saved Home Health and Hospice of Dickinson County a total of $43,190.30 with their generous gifts of giving. Home Health and Hospice has several opportunities for volunteers. If patient care is not an area that interests you, there are administrative duties that you can help with, or you can join a special event committee. Adrianne would be happy to talk to you about this. For information you may call 785-263-6403 or email Adrianne at email@example.com