March 24, 2004
Oswego County Hospice Is Looking For Volunteers
Oswego County Hospice will offer its next volunteer training program Mondays and Thursdays this spring at the County Health Department, 70 Bunner St. in Oswego. Classes will be held from 6 to 9:30 p.m., April 19 through May 17. In addition to the Monday and Thursday schedule, attendance on Saturday, May 15 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. is necessary.
Sponsored by the Oswego County Health Department, Hospice provides emotional support and practical assistance to individuals and families faced with a terminal illness. The training program consists of 36 hours of classroom instruction and includes information on grief and bereavement issues to help volunteers serve Hospice patients and their families.
The training will also feature speakers, such as Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Medical Director of Oswego County Hospice and the Rev. Bill King, Volunteer Pastoral Care Coordinator.
"The unique aspect of Hospice is how volunteers with different experiences and backgrounds come together to fit the needs of the patient," said volunteer coordinator Michelle Dowd. "Volunteers act as an extension of the patients' family; helping out physically, emotionally and spiritually, whatever it takes to bring comfort to the patient."
"My role as a volunteer varies, whatever the patient needs," said Carol Nye, a Hospice volunteer for nearly a year. " A patient sometimes will open up to you more than his or her own families. Volunteering for Hospice is personally rewarding."
The assistance that volunteers provide include helping with transportation, shopping, and household tasks, and helping in the Hospice program office at the county health department in Oswego. The amount of time a volunteer serves per week depends on each patient. Last year, 60 active volunteers logged a total of 1,100 client hours.
Volunteers also help with Camp Rainbow for Hope, a unique camp encounter for Oswego County children who have experienced the death of a loved one. Camp Rainbow of Hope has received the national Legacy Award for Excellence and Innovation, and an Acts of Caring Award, which recognizes outstanding volunteer programs in the U.S.
For more information or to register, call 349-8259 or (800) 596-3200, ext. 8259.
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