Carolyn Bartles has been volunteering at Hospice & Community Care for a year now. She lends her expertise weekly, answering phones and helping guests at the Hospice administrative building. Carolyn shared a little about why she volunteers and why she believes Hospice is a perfect place to give your time.
“I retired two years ago from the school district, and I wanted to give back some time. I was diagnosed in 2012 with stage 4 lymphoma. I went through seven rounds of chemo and felt very blessed that I was able to come through that,” shared Carolyn. “I wanted to give back and find a way that I can help other people who may have gone through difficulties. I really enjoy volunteering. My father passed away two years ago, so I wasn’t quite ready for patient sitting, but the front desk was available, and that was what I had done at the school district as a receptionist. So hopefully, as I do this work and as time moves on, I can go on to volunteer further with other aspects of Hospice.”
“Volunteering is personal; it gives you a sense of caring. It fulfills your time where you are caring for other people and things versus just yourself. Especially if you are retired and you do not have certain goals to do on an everyday basis. You need a purpose. It helps you get going, and helps you realize that your problems are much smaller than others.”
“The biggest thing for me is just the fact that there are so many needs, different needs for everybody, and it isn’t just what most people might expect. That someone is dying, and they need care. There are so many more aspects to that with regard to what people are going through and what their needs are,” explained Carolyn. “I guess you are made more aware of those needs, even simple things that you do not think about. People needing groceries or even going to the grocery store. All the different calls make you stop and think about all the different aspects of what Hospice does with respect to the needs of people. Whether it is immediate, something down the road, and the needs they have after death and what they are going through and what we can help.”
“I volunteered in 1986 before Hospice & Community Care had the building, and I did patient care. You do see all walks of life, and it makes you appreciate what you do have and what others need that you may or may not be able to give. I enjoyed that volunteer work for about a year. I have been back at Hospice working at the front desk now a year now, and the changes, the campus is amazing. It is incredible how far Hospice & Community Care has come and how we help the community. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, but you are not sure what that might be, give Hospice & Community Care a thought. The first thing people think is I can’t be around dying people. And that is not what it is about. You need to understand more about what Hospice does and how you can be a part.”