November 5th is Volunteer Manager Appreciation Day. Join us in celebrating High Peaks Hospice’s Volunteer Manager, Jennifer Rich! Jennifer took time to elaborate on aspects of volunteering and her position at High Peaks Hospice.
What does Volunteer management mean to you?
“Being a Volunteer Manager means that I have the opportunity to be a part of a group of selfless, caring, and an overall compassionate group of people. I don’t just see this as a job title, to me this is actually my passion and what makes me feel fulfilled.”
What life volunteer experience led you to this career path?
“I became very involved with outreach and community service with my church and found it to be my passion and calling in life.”
What are some examples where you have felt fulfillment in your role since you started this past spring? Or in what ways has your role as Volunteer Coordinator, influenced, changed, or positively affected your life thus far?
“I have had such positive feedback from volunteers, patients, and coworkers so far in my role that I can’t help but go home each day with a sense of accomplishment. I truly am Blessed to have been given the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.”
What do you enjoy most about engaging with Hospice Volunteers?
“Volunteers for Hospice are such caring individuals that I can’t help but be drawn into their light so to speak. I have had many long conversations getting to know them and look forward to any and all suggestions they have to help stay connected. I value their time and suggestions.”
Why is supporting, validating, and investing in this population of genuine, giving humans so important to both the volunteer giving their time and Hospice Care?
“Everyone wants to feel appreciated in life. Being a volunteer means giving your time without being paid because you truly desire to help. I know people volunteer because it’s in their heart and they don’t look for recognition because it’s fulfilling on its own but even a Thank You or a simple gesture of gratitude goes a long way.”
What are some of the myths or stigmas around volunteering for Hospice?
“We as a society look at Death and Dying as something that shouldn’t be discussed, is scary, and can even look like hopelessness to some. Being a volunteer for people that are in the most challenging time of their life is very rewarding. It’s a stranger offering a friendly face, someone to talk to, and family support with no strings attached. It is very rewarding to be that Peace in someone’s life that may seem to be turned upside down.”
What makes Hospice Volunteers stand out in communities where there are so many ways to Serve?
“It seems that a majority of the volunteers for Hospice have had direct contact with Hospice services in some way. Whether their family or friends have been on service, they genuinely appreciate the part Hospice plays in providing comfort and compassion at the end of life. They want to give back to the community that helped them in the past, and help be there for someone else. They truly know and understand how much support Hospice brings to families and stand behind the Hospice mission.”
How do you know when someone is a fit for Hospice Volunteering?
“In order to be a good fit for Hospice a volunteer has to be comfortable with death and dying, respectful of individuals’ lifestyles, and also be flexible from day to day.”
How can our Community connect with you to learn more about all the various ways they can get involved with Volunteering at HPH?
“I am always available by email, phone, or if they would like to stop in the office to discuss any questions or opportunities.”
What can we expect from Volunteering in the Coming Year?
“I have set some personal goals for the year to come. I am hoping to add more specialty services to volunteering like massage therapy, therapy animals, professional cleaners, and services that can really bring not only comfort to the patients and families but different ways for volunteers to use their skill set. Adding more volunteers to help these families is the goal as well as retaining the wonderful people we already have out here that are currently making a difference.”
Thank you Jennifer for all of your dedication to our volunteers! We appreciate all you do for High Peaks Hospice.