Volunteer Spotlight: Dennis Bostwick

A weekly feature where you can get to know some of our volunteers.

Name: Dennis Bostwick

How long have you been a volunteer?
Four years

What areas do you work in/what tasks do you do as a volunteer?
Patient care in the Care Center, nursing homes and home care

What made you decide to become a volunteer?
Sister Pat (Hergenroether) was head of Spiritual Care at the time (she’s now retired) and she knew I was retired. We've been friends for years and years. I saw her and she said, “I have just the thing for you now that you've retired.” And she told me about this and I said, “I can't do that, are you kidding?” And she goes, “You can do this.” She sent me the information and I looked it over. I mentioned it to my wife and she said, "You'd be good at that." I said, "I'd be good at that? I don't know." I said a little prayer and said if you think I should do this I'm with you. So I took the classes and I liked the enthusiasm of Syndie. And I thought, this is going to be kind of cool. So I did it and it is pretty cool. 

What is your favorite part about volunteering?
Seeing a patient smile. Whether it's fooling with them or telling them a joke or holding their hand or something. I mean they wouldn't be in hospice if everything in their life was OK. So to see them smile, that's pretty cool. Especially when you see people that are lonely. That's the part that tugs at me. When they don't have anybody coming to see them, or they're stuck in a nursing home and for whatever reason they are by themselves, or their family doesn't come, and you walk in and they light up – that's why I do it.

What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering?
When you get a chance for someone to ever tell you that you meant something to someone in their family, or whatever their relation was, that's cool. 

(Dennis has two examples of this. One is a voicemail he saved from a patient’s family and the other is a letter Angela Hospice received from the family of a patient he had been spending time with.)

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