What gets you out of bed each morning? For many, it's a job, a career, a paycheck. What if you're retired? How do you spend your days? Before you decide to fill that void by volunteering, you may want to consider a few things.
First of all, for the newly retired, give yourself about a year from the date of your retirement before making any commitments. This may be a result of taking up new hobbies, traveling to places on your bucket list, or even helping families and friends with their to-do lists. It usually takes a year of going through all the seasons and holidays before you get into a routine. Then you can determine how much time you do have to volunteer.
Next, ask yourself how you want to offer that time. Can you commit to doing something a few hours each week or once a month?
Finally, know your passion. Offering one's time can be more important than making a financial contribution. Make sure you understand and believe in the organization's mission. You want to dedicate your time to something you not only feel, but know makes a difference.
Big Bend Hospice offers many ways to volunteer and is a great place to start. There are numerous, simple, yet powerful ways to serve as a BBH Volunteer and every experience is as unique as the person donating their time.
When most people think about the role of a hospice volunteer, they think of sitting at the bedside of someone during the last hours of life. "Vigil Volunteers" make up only 15 percent of the entire BBH volunteer corp.
The majority of BBH volunteers provide respite to caregivers, allowing them to get out of the home for a much-needed break. Direct Patient Volunteers provide companionship to active and alert patients. This includes but is not limited to reading, watching a favorite television show, taking walks and helping patients write a life review.
Valor Volunteers acknowledge and honor BBH patients who served in the military through Valor Ceremonies. You do not have to be a Veteran to be a Valor Volunteer. However, Veteran volunteers are used to help with Vet to Vet visits because sometimes a veteran will only open up to a fellow veteran. These visits provide an outlet for discussing military events or situations that happened and can help provide closure to patients.
Become a BBH Volunteer!
Kimberly Everett is Community Relations Coordinator for Big Bend Hospice. For more information, contact her at (850) 878-5310 or Kimberlyce@bigbendhospice.org. For more information about Big Bend Hospice, including Hospice services, visit bigbendhospice.org or call (800) 772-5862 to speak to a representative 24 hour a day.