April 15-21 is National Volunteer Week, a time to recognize and celebrate the thousands of men, women and young people who volunteer in communities across the country. I am the Hospice Volunteer Coordinator for RTA Hospice and Palliative Care and I salute all those who give of their time and talents, particularly to those at the ends of life's journey.
Many people are unaware that volunteers provide more than 16 million hours of service through our nation's hospices. That's more than 400,000 people giving selflessly to support and care for patients and families. More than 1.2 million people received compassionate care from hospice last year and hospice volunteers are an integral part of the care team.
I feel honored to be a part of the volunteer program, especially after experiencing the wonderful hospice care my father, Oran Shear, received before he died. By being a part of this wonderful service, I feel I'm not only giving back a small portion to the community, but am honoring my father's memory.
There are people who mistakenly think hospice is about giving up. That couldn't be further from the truth. Hospice is about living as fully as possible, even at the end of life. At the center of hospice is the belief that each person has the right to die free of pain and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to that end.
I encourage others to learn more about hospice by contacting RTA Hospice and Palliative Care at (928) 472-6340.
Patty Kaufman, Payson