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Volunteer Experiences

 Sharing a love of horses    

Dale Childs photo"My most recent patient was proud to have been a horse trainer and enjoyed talking about the care and treatment of the horses. We watched The Belmont Stakes and Kentucky Derby together, and I learned what was really going on. On a computer search, I found a newspaper article from the early 1960s about a race in which he had placed fourth. When I brought the article to him, his face lit up. He remembered the horse and the race and put the clipping with his photos."

–Dale Childs, home care volunteer 

 Enjoying an ever-positive attitude 

Teri Zamora photo"I was so touched by the ever-positive attitude of one of the patients I visited. She had a big smile from the moment Iwalked in the door until the time I left and only had good things to say about everyone."

 

– Teri Zamora, home care volunteer and hair stylist

 Bringing calm and comfort  

Clari Cejka with golden retriever, Chelsea"I was asked to visit a man dying of cancer in his last hours. His family felt that having a dog nearby would be significant. Petting Chelsea, who has a beautiful soft coat and an unusually calm demeanor, brought the family much comfort as the patient drifted in and out of consciousness."

–Clari Cejka and Chelsea, Pet Connections volunteer team  

 Feeling truly appreciated

David Elbert photo"A meaningful experience for me was when one gentleman said, ‘I can’t thank you enough for being my friend. You are the only person who comes to see me anymore.’ Responding to the call light of another PCU patient, I asked what he needed, and he said, ‘Take a minute to sit here and talk to me.’ I did that until he fell asleep. It’s hard to explain the feeling you get by being a volunteer."

–Dave Elbert, home care and PCU volunteer 

 A special connection 

David Thomas photo"I had the pleasure to spend over seven months with someone whom I came to admire and helped me to have a true spiritual awakening. What began as a patient/volunteer relationship turned into grand dialogue between two persons no longer wary of complete honesty. We shared laughter, intellectual debate, the human condition, and were also very comfortable with prolonged periods of shared silence."

–David Thomas, home care volunteer and guitar player    

 Discovering the fun of antiquing 

Mary Lynne Plis photo"One of my most meaningful experiences was sharing excursions to Goodwill with a patient. As we searched for treasures, she would teach me about antiquing. When these trips became too much for her, we would sit in her roomand play games. The relationship was strong enough that I could just talk to her to make her happy."

–Mary Lynne Plis, home care volunteer, mandolin player and singer