Points of Light: Suncoast Hospice Celebrates National Volunteer Week
Suncoast Hospice joins in celebrating National Volunteer Week, April 21 to 27. The theme is Celebrate Service, honoring the people around the country who do extraordinary things and make a difference through volunteer service. Suncoast Hospice celebrates the many dedicated volunteers who serve our community in Pinellas County, Florida.
Volunteers are the Heart of Suncoast Hospice
Suncoast Hospice was founded in 1977 by a group of community volunteers who felt a need to change the way people were cared for at the end of life. Through the generous commitment of service of volunteers, Suncoast Hospice has grown to provide care and support to those who’re dying, living with advanced or chronic illnesses or grieving the loss of loved ones. Our volunteers bring their hearts and helping hands to our organization, so that others may continue living in comfort and peace.
Some of the many volunteer roles at Suncoast Hospice include:
- Patient and family support
- Office and administrative support
- Delivering medications to patients
- Serving customers at Suncoast Hospice Resale Shoppes
Serving Patients & Families
After a comprehensive patient and family support training, volunteers may serve our patients at their bedsides. They provide a calming and caring presence, companionship and support. Some bring patients comfort through music, relaxation through aromatherapy or stimulation through reading books. They also provide respite to caregivers, giving them some time of their own to run errands or meet with friends.
Supporting Facilities & Programs
Administrative volunteers warmly greet visitors in our community service centers and care centers. They also work with our teams and departments supporting staff. They answer phones, enter data into medical records and perform other important tasks, allowing more time for staff to tend to patients’ needs.
Volunteers at our resale shoppes often serve in the stores because of their love for shopping and serving others. They provide wonderful customer experiences, including greeting and helping customers, ringing up sales and designing beautiful displays. Sometimes they spend time with people who’ve lost their loved ones and come to donate their possessions. The stores are safe places for them to tell their stories and be supported by volunteers who understand their needs.
There will also be some exciting new volunteer opportunities with our affiliate, Suncoast PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly). Volunteers may serve their participants, who aren’t hospice patients but need support with their daily living activities at their homes and the program’s new adult day care center. These volunteers will provide companionship, socialization and assistance with teaching arts, crafts, music, sewing and other recreational activities. Volunteers with computer skills will also be needed to assist at Suncoast PACE and Suncoast Hospice.
During National Volunteer Week we not only celebrate the work of the wonderful volunteers in our community, but send a call to action to those considering volunteering. Come join Suncoast Hospice and learn more about yourself while giving to others. It’s the best reward you can receive.
To learn more about Suncoast Hospice’s volunteer opportunities, call 727-HOSPICE (467-7423) or visit suncoasthospice.org.
Kathy Roble is the director of volunteer services at Suncoast Hospice based in Clearwater, Florida. Kathy has been with Suncoast Hospice for 19 years, initially serving as a volunteer. Kathy’s a member of National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s (NHPCO) National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals and Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Association. She served as the national section leader of the Volunteer Management Section of NHPCO and a member of the executive committee. She has also chaired and presented at national and state hospice symposiums and conferences.