Volunteer Spotlight: Carol Brinton

Name: Carol Brinton

How long have you been a volunteer?
Two years.

What areas do you work in/what sort of tasks do you do as a volunteer?
Patient care in the Care Center, mailings, Tree of Life, and the Walk of Remembrance.

What made you decide to become a volunteer?
I saw the need when my mom was here and I couldn’t be here. I got to know the volunteers, and when I knew that they were here, it just made me rest more easily when I knew Mom was being taken care of. I thought, “I fed my mom when I was here, and hopefully, I can feed other people.” And Syndie [Angela Hospice Director of Volunteer Services] said, “If you feel that isn’t right for you, you can always change because there are so many volunteer positions.” Fortunately, I like it very much.

I was just telling my husband that I’m always in a rush for everything outside of here, but when I come here I know it’s the patient’s time, not my time. Some of them are very slow eaters…it just slows me down and I love it. I get so much out of it. It’s worked out really good.

What is your favorite part about volunteering?
Seeing that I can help people in some small way. I’m learning a lot, even from the class, but there’s nothing like firsthand experience from the nurses and the hospice aides. They’ve been very helpful in guiding me. I told them I’m here, I know some things, but I’m looking to you for guidance. I’m learning as I go and I’m enjoying it. Even the appreciation from the patients and the staff, that they’re glad to see us around, that makes you feel good too.

What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering?
This one woman that I go to each week, she has Alzheimer’s and isn’t able to speak, but she communicates with her eyes. That’s so gratifying for me. I can just see she wants to say so much to me but she can’t. So we look in each other’s eyes. I can’t explain it, it’s wonderful. So I get a lot of gratification and when she smiles, and when she eats a little, I go home on cloud nine. It’s wonderful.

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