Hospice 'Angels Deserve Our Heartfelt Appreciation'

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April 22-28 is National Volunteer Week. It's a week set aside every year since 1974 to recognize and celebrate the efforts of the thousands of men and women in this country who volunteer their time and energies to help others.

Nationwide more than 150,000 volunteers provide more than 16 million hours of service annually to Americans with life-limiting illnesses and to their families. Hospice is considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care at the end of life.

RTA Hospice volunteers make this special way of caring possible. Simply put, we are there to take care of whatever needs to be done. We are there to hold a hand and listen, or to take the patient to their favorite place in the park, or to read to them. We are there to run an errand, walk a dog, or pick up a prescription.

We are there to step in when a family member needs a break from caring for their loved one. And we are there for the family and friends after their loved one has passed away. I have worked side by side with members of our volunteer program who devote their time and their hearts to the work of the hospice team. I have been witness to the work of angels and they deserve our heartfelt appreciation.

Kelley D. Fanizza, Volunteer Coordinator, RTA Hospice

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