Supporting hospice with your time
Heavenly Hospice will help you find your valued place with our volunteer team. These opportunities are abundant. They include visiting patients and keeping them company, providing respite for caregivers, sending letters and cards to families, assisting with administrative and clerical duties, and representing hospice in special events. Ages 16 and up are invited to apply.
WHAT CAN I OFFER AS A HOSPICE VOLUNTEER?
- Patient Care and Companionship – Spend time with patients or help families with simple caregiving or housekeeping tasks, sit with the patient while the caregiver takes a break, or maintain supportive contact with the family.
- Bereavement Support – Make a a phone call, visit family with one of our hospice chaplains, pray, send a card to a hospice family as part of our bereavement follow-up program.
- Community Outreach – Work a special event such as a college volunteer fair or a nursing home health care fair and represent hospice in the community.
- Student Outreach – Your college organization can offer music, an activity or craft for residents while representing our hospice team. We ask that you give us at least 2 weeks notice to set up your event. We will need the name of your organization, contact person’s name and e-mail, date you want to volunteer, preferred hours, number of volunteers expected and identification of any special skills/talents/preferences your group might offer such as instrumental or voice music, arts and crafts with seniors, yard work/window washing at patient home or senior center, etc.
- Support a Cause – Volunteer with our staff in our annual work with Walk to End Alzheimer’s, United Way Norman’s United Day of Caring, Race for the Cure–OKC, or the State OHPCA’s Oklahoma Hospice Dash.
- Office Assistance – Help us with administrative duties in our offices.
- Hospitality Program – Craft a quilt, ‘lap-ghan,’ or other special welcome gift; send a card; make a phone call to a patient and /or family member.
- Birthday Celebrations – Join hospice staff at patients’ homes to celebrate birthdays with cake, balloons, cards, and fellowship. If the family is feeling up for fun, so are we!
- 11th Hour Volunteers – Receive special training and be called upon to sit bedside vigil with patients and families during the last hours of life for support and companionship.
- Special Skill – Share your pet therapy, cosmetology skills, massage therapy, music therapy or other special license or certification.
Becoming a volunteer is as simple as filling out an application, meeting with us, and participating in a short training track designed for your abilities and interests. To download the Volunteer Brochure click here or the Volunteer Application click here. Please complete the form and mail, fax or e-mail it to Volunteer Coordinator:
3411 W Rock Creek Rd., Suite 100
Norman, OK 73072
Volunteer care stories:
Ben: One of the first assignments I had was to make regular pet therapy visits to a lady named Sally. When I first met her, she was not feeling well at all, and I was concerned how long she would be with us. However, from that day until near the end, she seemed to get stronger and sometimes I would have to hunt her down to visit. She was a constant craft worker, always on one project or another. Her bed was usually covered with her works, as she sat in a chair next to her bed and worked away. From the first visit she was taken with my pet therapy dog, and she always pushed her crafts away and invited him to jump up to her lap, which he did. Seldom did she call him his name, as he became “Precious”, the name of a dog she used to have. Each visit she would call him Precious and call out to her roommate, “Look! Isn’t he Precious?” When my pet and I started down the hall to her room, I could have taken the lead completely off of him, and he would have run to her room. On one visit she asked for a photo of my dog, and I brought her one on the next visit. Thereafter, there was a photo of “Precious” on the wall by her bed, close to the picture of her own “Precious” from the past. When her health began to really fail again, and she was confined to bed, we still visited her until the end. Interestingly, he seemed to know there was a problem.
Hannah: When I started visiting Miss June she was usually unresponsive and wouldn’t even open her eyes during our visits, much less carry on a conversation with me. Our relationship soon completely turned around, and I grew to love and respect Miss June throughout our precious time together conversing about her life. Even though at first I felt like I wasn’t making any difference in Miss June’s life, I now realize that without hospice care and a volunteer presence, the end of her life would have been much more lonely, and I would have missed out on getting to know such a special, unique person. It was a truly amazing experience watching as Miss June opened up to me and let me into her life. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to volunteer for Heavenly Hospice and to have formed such a special relationship with Miss June.
Jena: Robert was my first assigned patient as a patient care volunteer with Heavenly Hospice. I was a little nervous the first visit, but my volunteer coordinator came with me. Soon, it became so important to me to visit with him. He was very lonely and he just needed someone to sit and talk to him. I brought him strawberry malts and he even bought me one on the last visit…he was a nice man who was having a hard time NOT being NORMAL. He kept telling me he was going to take his wife to Colorado when he got well. The last week before he passed away, I called him and told him I was having some pain issues and couldn’t come that day, and his last words to me were…’OH JENA, DONT WORRY ABOUT ME…YOU ARE THE IMPORTANT ONE, TAKE CARE OF YOU OK???’ That was the last time I heard him speak..he is now in a peaceful place and in no pain…Rest in Peace Robert…he let me see how important hospice is and how patients need us to help make them feel some sort of NORMAL…I love what I do!!
Heavenly gifts: Ms. Nancy Spies (Oklahoma City) and friends spend countless hours crocheting beautiful, soft ‘lapghans’ for warm handmade gifts for patients, but she must be a poet too. She includes (along with washing instructions) this note with each:
- “This ‘Lap Wrap’ was made to keep you cozy, comfy, and warm from head to toesy’”.
Thank you, Nancy! And thank you hospice aide, Betty Minson, for the idea to make these in 2012 and for the wraps you made to get us started.