By: Jaci Risser, Transitions Hospice Volunteer Coordinator (IL)

Through these uncertain times, some of our volunteers have been out seeing patients and working directly in the hospice setting, while others have helped remotely. As it has for all of us, the COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected our volunteers and their ability to do their job. Regardless, they have continued to be motivated, staying with us through the pandemic and into 2021. Because of this great dedication, to honor their achievements for Volunteer Week, we wanted to take the time to share some of the activities and accomplishments of our volunteers over the course of the last year: 

Volunteer Week (April 18-24) is a special time at Transitions Hospice. We value the work that each and every one of our volunteers do for us. Whether it be in the office, in the field, or with our patients and families,  we could not provide the quality of care that we do without our volunteers, and they deserve all of the credit for being an integral part of the Transitions family. 

  • At the beginning of the Pandemic, when masks were not readily available, our volunteers hand sewed masks from scratch. Some of these volunteers had never sewn a thing in their lives, but through their own self-determination and a desire to help our staff members, they made so very many wonderful masks.
  • Volunteers have helped to deliver patient supplies during a particularly difficult time. 
  • Volunteers have sat vigil for patients. Sometimes it was with COVID-19 positive patients, so wearing full PPE for many hours was what they did without hesitation. Other times, it was the usual last minute request for Vigil Sitting help, at a time when we were all feeling the weight of the pandemic and all of its devastating effects. These folks knew that our patients deserved the very best and they rose to that challenge, time and time again.
  • Volunteers have visited patients who are in particular need of companionship. 
  • Teams of volunteers have supported families by working together to provide a consistent, weekly break for the POA/family to get out and run much needed errands.
  • Volunteers jumped at the chance to make holiday decorations for the residents at Victory Lakes. They made many cheerful decorations and helped to lift the weary spirits of many residents.
  • Our Office Volunteers deserve a very special thank you for adapting to the needs and schedules that we requested. They worked evenings and weekends when they would have normally worked during the week, at their own convenience. This continued for a long time without hesitation.

Our volunteers have made themselves available to Transitions Hospice in whatever way possible to keep us on track and provide the very best care to our patients. There are many heroes in our world today, and I would add our volunteers to that impressive list, without hesitation. I am so completely blessed to know and work with these folks! Thanks to all of our volunteers – past and present, it is time to celebrate you!