Mountain Valley Hospice of Elkin is actively seeking volunteers to assist with a variety of tasks. Volunteers often join hospice after a positive interaction due to the death of a loved one, however anyone can help in some way. Although interacting directly with patients and their family is something a volunteer can do, there is also a myriad of other activities for individuals to help with.
“It takes an army of volunteers to make any fundraising activity possible,” explained Elkin Volunteer Resource Coordinator Sherry Berman.
“Our biggest event is the port-a-pit chicken,” said Berman, describing that volunteers support in every stage from preparing the food and plating the meals, to delivering them to businesses and families.
The Re-Sale Shoppe in Mount Airy provides the opportunity for community members to support hospice and provides considerable financial assistance, according to Berman. Volunteers maintain the stock and displays as well as serve as sales clerks.
“Making tuck-in calls is an important job for volunteers,” explained Family Patient Volunteer Janie Helton. “By calling a family on Thursday to check on supplies before it becomes an emergency on the weekend, volunteers provide a significant amount of peace of mind in a difficult situation.”
Knitters are always welcome for the Prayer Shawl Ministry in Jonesville where the Yadkin Valley Senior Center knitters and the Red Hatters knit wraps for patients, “to demonstrate the community’s love and support during this difficult time,” stated Berman. “The Prayer Shawl group in Jonesville at the senior center has a monumental mission of giving to Mountain Valley.”
“The Red Hatters are always, I mean ALWAYS, here for us,” asserted Berman. “These are such giving ladies. So much fun and they do so much for the Elkin community.” They also gather with other volunteers to craft tokens of encouragement for patients and their families.
Special shawls are made by the Prayer Shawl Ministry to augment the We Honor Veterans program. This program recognizes the unique need veterans have in end-of-life care. Volunteers assist with veteran pinnings and may be specifically requested to serve as a companion for fellow veterans.
Although not necessary of all volunteers, those who are what Berman called, “The unsung wonderful family patient volunteers who go to homes to provide respite care and companionship. They are the salt of the earth and truly model everything that volunteering should be. They blow me away every time I am with them!”
“People who can separate themselves from their daily lives and be present for a few moments in time with someone who is facing the unknown undoubtedly answer a higher calling,” professed Pat H. Younger, director of Volunteer Services for Mountain Valley Hospice.
Family patient volunteers may run errands or arrange pet care as well as provide companionship and serve in respite care for the family. Some are involved with more specialized care such as bereavement support or being a Kid’s Path volunteer where children are guided through the grieving process.
“In the beginning, God provides families to love and nurture us,” said Younger. “In the end, He sends in perfect strangers to further manifest His divine love. Those perfect strangers are called hospice volunteers.”
“As you are making New Year’s resolutions, make a resolution to volunteer,” requested Shelia Jones, director of Marketing for Mountain Valley Hospice. For more information on how to become a volunteer or assistance with hospice needs, call 336-536-2650 or stop at the office on North Bridge Street in Elkin.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.