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April 12-18th is  National Volunteer Week!

It’s a time to honor and recognize our wonderful Hospice Volunteers! Below is a beautifully written article by SVNA’s Donna DiMartino, Hospice Director & Virginia Gold, Medical Social Worker:
Witness (v) – to see, hear, or know by personal presence and perception. Synonyms: perceive, watch, mark, notice, note, observe, confirm. 

Each time a hospice volunteer walks into a home, they provide company, emotional and physical support, and most importantly, they witness.  They declare, with their entry into a hospice client’s life, “You matter.  Your life matters, your history matters, your family matters, and your pain and joy matter.  And I will come back again and again to witness that truth for as long as your life shall last.”

 How do you thank someone who is willing to witness in that way?  Someone who has trained in order to volunteer their time and sit with those who are dying?  Our volunteers provide all sorts of actual supportive moments: quiet listening, playing games, fetching groceries, driving to appointments, talking a walk, writing a note, changing the screen door, reading out loud, drinking a cup of tea, a hand rub.  But even more than the tangible supports, they volunteer their own presence to confirm for others that their lives are noticed and celebrated.

 Our volunteers do all of this selflessly, with grace, patience, and more than a little humor.  They do not seek fame, fortune, or even gratitude.  They “just” do.  They “just” witness.  And in doing this, they represent one of the biggest benefits of Hospice – the art of caregiving, the humanity of connection in the midst of loss.

 On Volunteer Day, please say thank you to these wonderful people who give so much.  We applaud their selflessness, kindness, and power.

SVNA by your side since 1904

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