Do YOU Have What It Takes To KEEP This Resolution?

avatar By Kim Lovell, LBSW
L.B.S.W. - Family Services Director

When you think of Volunteers, what do you think about? Someone who wants to give back to their community? Member of a church singing to residents at a local nursing home? The “Pink Ladies” at the hospital who pass out newspapers, coffee, and water to patients or families? Volunteers are humanitarian. They are Ambassador’s who give generously of their time and represent Solaris throughout the year. I want to introduce you to Becky Byrd, who is an Ambassador of Solaris.

KL: “Why did you decide to become a hospice volunteer?”
Becky: “I had a lot of free time in the evening, did not want to be selfish with my time, and wanted to do something productive.”
KL: “What makes you give so generously of your time?”
Becky: “My past experience, when my grandma was on hospice has made me realize that people just need someone objective to talk to. I know that I am not necessarily doing anything for the patient, but just being there for the family to talk. You have those feelings of helplessness, guilt of not wanting to leave your loved one. Just giving the family that reaffirmation that is it is ok to feel that way.”
KL: “Why should others volunteer?”
Becky: “You get to see and feel the peace and the presence of God. When you realize you can help someone going through difficulties that no matter how small it may seems to us, it is huge to them. It was such a huge help to us when my grandmother was on hospice knowing that someone came to give us a small window of relief. It makes you count your blessings and realize in the future that all works out the way it is supposed to work out.”

So what does your future look like? In the year 2012, I will resolve to: “Lose ___ pounds”, “Exercise ____ times a week”, “Eat healthy.” How about doing something in this new year completely different than you have ever done before? Make a resolution to give of your time to help others.

Like Becky, Solaris Ambassadors give of their time like visiting patients in their homes. They go to nursing facilities and provide companionship and a listening ear. They are professional hair dressers that cut and style our patients hair giving them dignity. They offer their time to the families and sit with patients as the care giver can go run errands, go to doctor appointments, or just have respite time. Some volunteers assist in massaging our patients providing comfort and stress relief. The patient and families are greatly appreciative of our volunteers and all that they do the serve them.

Our hospice volunteers also provide great administrative assistance with entering data into computers, assist in answering the phones, filing, and helping in the office environment. We have had two Ambassadors for 13+ years with Solaris. Some adjectives that describe our volunteers are: Compassionate, dedicated, helpful, respectful, happy, caring, experienced, understanding, and loving. Would any of these adjectives describe you? Do you have what it takes to invest in others for the New Year of 2012? If so, consider becoming a hospice Ambassador today with Solaris! We would love to meet you!

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