Overview of Volunteering
What is a Volunteer?
Volunteer is defined as: One who enters into or offers her/himself for a
service of her/his own free will, usually without regard for compensation.
A voluntary act is when people take responsibility for shaping their communities
and their country. Volunteers work without compensation or expectation
Volunteers unselfishly give of their time and talent to help other people help themselves. A volunteer is someone who believes that people can make a difference and is willing to demonstrate it.
Why are Volunteers Needed in Hospice?
90% of Canadians wish to remain in their own homes during the final stages of life but 94% of caregivers say they cannot cope without help - the kind of help that hospice volunteers provide.
75% of deaths today still take place in hospitals and long-term care facilities
5%-15% of Canadians have access to hospice palliative care services
6% of informal caregivers feel they can adequately care for their loved ones without hospice palliative care support
70% of informal
caregivers acknowledge that providing care is stressful and indicate they
need a break from this responsibility
(Hospice Association of Ontario, 2004)
Each week, your gift of time will help nourish and sustain the quality of life for someone living with a terminal illness.
Who are Hospice Volunteers?
They are people just like you! Hospice volunteers, like our clients, come from all walks of life. Our volunteers vary in age, ethnicity, faith, gender, sexual orientation, and professional backgrounds. Some volunteers do the work because they want to do something outside of work. Some have experienced the loss of a loved one and the experience changed their lives. Some just like to help people. Our volunteers are students, lawyers, accountants, electricians, marketers, sales people, human resource people, homemakers, teachers, and retired people. Many volunteers state that their life is rich and fulfilled and they want to "give back" to their community.
Benefits of Volunteering
Volunteering in hospice is very rewarding. You get to meet many different types of people and form solid relationships based on mutual respect, understanding, and caring. As a hospice volunteer you will:
- Make a difference in people's lives
- Develop a wide network
- Develop a range of skills and experience that can be used in eveyday life
- Receive ongoing education and development
- Do your part in bringing about social change
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi