“The most rewarding aspect of being a Unity volunteer is to know you are making a difference in someone’s life. It is a chance to touch not only a patient’s life but sometimes, the whole family.”
I was getting out of a nursing career and knew I would miss patient care so I looked for opportunities to volunteer working with patients. Unity seemed like a great fit for my background, interests and experience. I have been volunteering for Unity for 15 years. I am blessed to have had many opportunities at Unity. I volunteer with companion care, where I have provided services such as rides to appointment, light housekeeping, baking and playing cards. I am also a vigil volunteer on a “as needed” basis to sit with patients in end-of-life stages. I work in the kitchen at the Jack & Engrid Meng Hospice Residence on occasion, I have helped shop for Christmas outreach, and I help with events when needed, march in the Pulaski Polka Days parade on behalf of Unity and most recently with the opening of the Unity Resale Shoppe, have become a volunteer there in the receiving area. The beautiful thing about being a volunteer with Unity is you really don’t need a lot of experience, just the interest and desire to learn something new. They have a great training program that prepares you for whatever they will ask you to do.
The most rewarding aspect of being a Unity volunteer is to know you are making a difference in someone’s life. It is a chance to touch not only a patient’s life but sometimes, the whole family. There is so much gratification in being told that just your smile has made someone’s day, or to know that your visit brought joy to someone’s life. Things we see as small gestures of kindness and compassion are like mountains of kindness and compassion to those receiving them and you just can’t help but walk away feeling like you want to do more because it feels so good to know that what you did made a difference today.
There are so many opportunities at Unity. If patient care isn’t your thing, there’s office, telephone, filing, events, kitchen, medication delivery, sewing, knitting, sorting, pricing, gardening….the list is endless, so many opportunities to serve! You will build relationships with some very special people, Unity staff are always friendly, helpful and appreciative. And the best thing about being a volunteer is, you can say no if you aren’t available. You get to do what you love, when it fits in your schedule, it’s the perfect combination.
I have had some very special patients over the years that I had the privilege of getting to know for longer periods of time because they were palliative patients. They will forever remain living in my heart. Their smiles, funny quotes, and their great sense of humor but mostly the simple genuine gratitude they express through their smiles just to have you stop for a visit. It’s such a little thing but means so much. It is the most rewarding thing you will ever do.