Becoming a Hospice of Homer volunteer is a perfect opportunity to share a precious part of you with people who are in need. As I have moved through my life, I wanted my efforts and energy to be used for what I felt was important.
When I was younger, it was mostly about me — building up my skills, gaining a foothold in the world. I got married, I bought a house, I had a child. So, my efforts and energy in life shifted focus to my wife and son, a home, and all the things that go along with it. As I got more proficient with taking care of my family and possessions, I was able to start putting more time toward myself again. The longer I lived, the bigger the world became. I started to feel drawn more toward that world outside of myself.
When I was in my late forties, a good friend told me about his volunteer work with hospice, and I immediately felt that draw — the draw toward that world outside of myself, part spiritual, part natural progression of my life. I joined a hospice group, and started volunteering a few hours of my time every week. After a number of years of volunteer work, I can honestly say the experience has been of great value to my life. I feel a part of a world I never felt a part of before. I share, and I am shared with. I have felt so much appreciation as a hospice volunteer. It can be so humbling. Most of what I do is just care, and share a few hours of my time each week.
I have found Hospice of Homer to be a very special organization. Hospice is more than just comforting people in their final hours. Hospice also provides support for the frail and isolated in our community.
I have had the opportunity to make a meal for a family of teens who were alone at home while their parent was getting chemotherapy. I’ve spent time with some older gentlemen in their twilight times, sometimes sharing memories, sometimes reading to them, sometimes just sitting quietly together. I’ve played many a card game, shared a meal, a good laugh, and sometimes a tear. The opportunities present themselves, and all I have to be is willing. The rest seems to come pretty naturally.
Opening my heart to others has opened my heart to me.
Chuck Giza is a volunteer for Hospice of Homer End of Life Program and Volunteer Visitor Program.
Hospice of Homer volunteer training begins Oct. 5
Hospice of Homer volunteer training for the End of Life Program and the Volunteer Visitor Program begins Oct. 5. The 33 hours of training offer an opportunity for attendees to learn about the hospice philosophy, end of life care, friendly visiting, Alzheimer’s Disease, pain management, ethics, body mechanics, and more, as well as the chance to explore their own attitudes toward aging, dying and loss.
The training class size is limited and registration is required. Contact Hospice of Homer for training details, to register and answer any question you may have. You can call 235-6899 or stop by the hospice office, 910 East End Road Suite 2.