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Grane Hospice Care Blog

International Volunteer Managers Day

Volunteer Managers Make a Difference

Volunteers play a very important part, not only in hospice care, but in the world. A volunteer is defined as a person who performs a service willingly and without pay. In hospice, volunteer services can include things like pet therapy, massage, manicures, making memory bears, or simply sitting with a patient to provide comfort and support and even to reminisce.

And how would volunteers be able to provide these invaluable services if it weren’t for Volunteer Managers? Volunteer Managers are responsible for selecting, training, and supervising the volunteer staff of an organization. They also plan and organize events that bring joy to patients.

"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart."

The first observation of International Volunteer Managers Day started in 1999 and was celebrated on December 5 in conjunction with International Volunteers Day. Then in 2006, when the IVMDay International Supporters Group was formed, it was moved to its own day on November 1st. After one more shift in dates, the date is now on November 5th.

Why am I a Grane Hospice Volunteer Coordinator?

"It is quite simple of what it means to me -- it is being a blessing to someone! It is not just about recruiting and training a volunteer with the qualifications; it is being able to experience for myself and put into action of something that means so much to me. I enjoy being able to meet someone’s needs with a kind greeting, a smile, holding their hand, having a good ol' conversation, or even just being present. I truly enjoy the stories I learn from both the patient and their family.

Volunteers with this same passion makes my heart glad to know that there are a lot of people in this world with a kind soul."

"In a nutshell, I’d just like to contribute that I feel like being a Volunteer Coordinator is more important now than ever. We were accustomed to Volunteers providing mainly face to face visits to our patients, but with the COVID-19 health crisis, that isn’t an option in most cases. We have had to find new and unique ways to maintain connections between volunteers and patients. Connections are crucial, especially these days. Being able to provide a way for volunteers and patients to keep in touch is the most rewarding thing I think I could be doing right now. "

"I have been a volunteer coordinator for two decades and my love for the profession has only continued to grow. In this role I develop a close bond with volunteers who want to help make someone’s day brighter. Each and every day, I have a group of people with the biggest hearts who will pitch in and do whatever they can to help in any way they can. I am fortunate to get to see the end result- the smile on someone’s face, appreciation from the family, the tears shed when they received a memory bear or a hug.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we have not been able to see the patient’s reactions in person but the staff has stepped up and contributed even more to try to make the patients feel loved and cared about. For example, we recently held several Halloween Pet Parades for our skilled nursing and assisted living residents in Pittsburgh. The volunteers had their pets all dressed up for the holiday and patients sat by the windows as everyone walked around and visited through the windows. Staff came out and gave the biggest hugs, pets and love was shared between everyone. There was not one person who was not smiling or waving.

When times get tough, the volunteers on our team rise above to do what they do best- they make someone’s day brighter! As a volunteer coordinator- I consider all the volunteers a part of my family and I believe that I have the best family!"

Volunteer Contributions for Our Patients

Please join us in celebrating International Volunteer Managers Day on November 5, focusing on the theme ‘What’s Next?’ 


Volunteer Managers, we thank you for all you do!

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