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Old 01-11-2018, 08:22 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,881 posts, read 18,894,234 times
Reputation: 33803

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfcambridge View Post
I volunteer with a hospice organization.

When people are admitted to hospice and don't have any family/friends to visit them, I will go visit with them. I try to make them comfortable, pain-free, and if possible, create a little bit of happiness. I buy them a favorite, comfort thing that they need/want, or a favorite thing to eat. And I let them tell all the stories. And then I come back and follow them until they pass.

And if someone is suddenly dying and admitted to the hospital in hospice, and family is still out of town, I will go visit them so they are not alone. I hold their hand, I play their favorite music on my iPad, I tell them their family is coming.

It makes a difference. Not everyone can handle it though.
Wow, thank you. I repped you but wanted to thank you again for what you do. What important work and what a kind heart you have. I know other volunteer work is important too but this must be so difficult that I don't see how anyone can do it. I know I couldn't.
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:48 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,649 posts, read 40,020,325 times
Reputation: 23806
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
(i.e. Hospice) ... I know other volunteer work is important too but this must be so difficult that I don't see how anyone can do it. I know I couldn't.
true, all volunteering is very important to each cause.

Hospice has some very extreme dynamics, I am surprised by the FAMILIES (seemingly happy / open / secure) that cannot handle it, but that is all the more reason to help the clients (families and individual under care). I never judge / complain about family that cannot deal with this event, we all have our reasons, and I never know where others have trod to get here. (but generally was not an ez path).

I love sharing the stories / friendships / openness / singing / remembering and really enjoying (as possible) those last few days and hours. (and LONG nights) I worked 30+ yrs of nights, so that part is 'natural' for me.

As with most Hospice volunteers, we consider it a true privilege to accompany these families through this stage of the battle. They have been through SO MUCH more! (before they show up at hospice).

Keeps us in perspective All too soon. We will follow this path as well. +/-
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:09 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,881 posts, read 18,894,234 times
Reputation: 33803
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
true, all volunteering is very important to each cause.

Hospice has some very extreme dynamics, I am surprised by the FAMILIES (seemingly happy / open / secure) that cannot handle it, but that is all the more reason to help the clients (families and individual under care). I never judge / complain about family that cannot deal with this event, we all have our reasons, and I never know where others have trod to get here. (but generally was not an ez path).

I love sharing the stories / friendships / openness / singing / remembering and really enjoying (as possible) those last few days and hours. (and LONG nights) I worked 30+ yrs of nights, so that part is 'natural' for me.

As with most Hospice volunteers, we consider it a true privilege to accompany these families through this stage of the battle. They have been through SO MUCH more! (before they show up at hospice).

Keeps us in perspective All too soon. We will follow this path as well. +/-
I can't rep you again but saying good bye is highly emotional and often leaves the family members at loose ends in so many ways. It's just way too much. Hospice volunteers came to my late FIL as he was dying at home and it was such a great help to my MIL to have them there. It gave her a break and an offering of support for what she was enduring. We were comforted to know that while we couldn't be there all the time, she had Hospice helping her out. You have a beautiful attitude concerning life's end.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:45 PM
 
2,635 posts, read 3,380,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Wow, thank you. I repped you but wanted to thank you again for what you do. What important work and what a kind heart you have. I know other volunteer work is important too but this must be so difficult that I don't see how anyone can do it. I know I couldn't.

Thanks folks for the kind words.

Yes, you all could do it.

I think the only thing I have done that I have found more gratifying was when I was younger....

I play the violin. I would go to a local Nursing Home at Christmas time, and play a concert of Christmas carols for the residents who could come to listen. And then afterwards, I would ask if there were any seniors who couldn't make it out of their rooms who might need a visitor. Then I would go to their rooms, one by one, and play their favorite Christmas carol for them. Many of them sang... most of them cried... Even the ones with dementia would suddenly become alert when they heard the music, and their faces would soften..... It killed me every time.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Retired in Malibu/La Quinta/Flagstaff
1,324 posts, read 1,330,697 times
Reputation: 4389
Even before I retired from the police department, I volunteered (and still do) at the local children's hospital. I assist the staff assigned to the nursery, feeding baby after baby. Not having a family of my own, I get to play "daddy" a few days out of each month.

I've been a volunteer instructor for 21 years at the American Red Cross, teaching first aid and CPR. I'm part of the Disaster Action Team. I also work special events, such as providing first aid at the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day in Pasadena.

Since I've retired, I volunteer during the holidays at the Midnight Mission on Skid Row, which was my last patrol assignment.

Got to do something to keep busy.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:56 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
45,002 posts, read 36,268,604 times
Reputation: 63703
I teach job skills classes to underprivileged women who are re entering the work force or who want to "upgrade" the type of work they do (usually from something unskilled to some sort of office environment). I LOVE this volunteer work because I can see a true difference in their lives and in their families and communities. We also help them find jobs after completing the program. It's very fulfilling work. I always feel like I get more out of it than I put into it!

I also head up a "dress for success" type of program within this organization where we obtain vouchers at local resale shops for them and then we do shopping trips with groups of women where we help them find and put together professional outfits. That's fun as heck!
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:09 AM
 
5,347 posts, read 7,229,953 times
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I lead birding hikes, do citizen-science bird counting projects, help find other volunteers to lead hikes.
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Towson, MD
189 posts, read 107,051 times
Reputation: 816
When I read so many posts on this site from nasty, miserable people who enjoy embarassing store cashiers, support beating their children, etc (not to mention the politics and prepper forums which are almost completely beyond the pale); it's wonderful to read this thread and hear from good, decent people who are really making a difference in this world.

Especially the folks helping with hospice; my mother did that for a while in the 80's - very difficult work.

Thanks to you all for brightening my day!
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,416 posts, read 5,142,695 times
Reputation: 7231
For the first 6 years or so I spent many, many hours per week volunteering for my small, all volunteer, foster based humane society. I fostered lots of dogs, a couple of horses, some cats, handled the email account, adoption events at the Petsmart 30 miles away and donated thousands of dollars for food and supplies. It got to be too much and I quit completely.

I then spent so time taking better care of my needs. A couple of years ago I got involved at the local community food bank. It is open 3 days a week for 3 hours a day. Volunteers come about an hour before it opens to stock the shelves and display cooler. I staff it every other Tuesday and also do the run to our local Food Lion to pick up 2 large coolers of food every other Thursday. That takes about 2 hours as we first go to the food bank and get 2 empty coolers, take them to the grocery store, pick up the 2 full ones and sort the produce and dairy items and put them in one of the two walk in coolers.

I've occasionally done the Saturday bread run where the warehouse donates lots of bread products. The big plastic totes fill my suburban and have to be double stacked. When I make my quarterly run to Costco to stock up on basics I also get them some supplies - paper towels and such.

This coming spring I'm hoping to get a bit more involved, helping with the gardens where they grow lots of produce.

I really enjoy my time there and get to meet so many nice people, both the volunteers and the clients.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Orlando
2,006 posts, read 2,645,775 times
Reputation: 7671
I do volunteer work for a local legal aid society. One morning a week, I conduct intake interviews of prospective clients -- people who need free legal services in a variety of different areas, such as divorce, child custody, landlord-tenant problems, consumer problems, bankruptcy, and more.

I interview the prospective clients to make sure they meet the financial requirements (free legal aid is available only to very low income people) and that their case is of the type that legal aid can handle. We don't do any criminal defense work, for example.

I listen to their problems and input the relevant information and documents into the computer so the legal aid attorneys can decide how best to help each prospective client. I am not permitted to make any decisions or give any legal advice, so fortunately I don't have any of the responsibility for the prospective client's legal issues. I just try to be as helpful and encouraging to them as I can. Boy howdy do I hear some sad stories.
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