Volunteer Spotlight: Kathy Gross

Name: Kathy Gross

How long have you been a volunteer?
Almost a year.

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

What made you decide to become a volunteer?
I’ve driven by here for ages. I always saw it and thought it would be nice to do volunteer work but I was working at the time. Then my husband and I retired in 2011, and I lost him in July 2013. That was rough, and I said, “I need to do something with myself.”

I always get more out of doing for somebody; you get so much more back. So I thought, I’ll go see what that’s all about. I honestly didn’t know in the beginning if I could do this or not. I thought, I’ll just try it; and I’m so glad I did. It’s just such a rewarding feeling that you’ve put a smile on somebody’s face.

I just feel glad that I had the opportunity to get to know them a little bit or make it a little nicer for them when I was there.

Kathy (left) with Angela Hospice staff Melanie Miller.
Why Angela Hospice?
Just from driving by it, and I had always heard the name. But in driving by, I went, “Oh, there’s Angela Hospice.” When I thought about how I need to do something or I should try doing something…this is only ten minutes from my house, and I thought, ok, let’s just check it out and see what it’s about. It fit.

What is your favorite part about volunteering?
I think just knowing that I’m maybe, not always, but maybe able to help somebody else that needs some attention or someone to talk to. Or aside from the patients themselves, that I’m taking a little bit of a load off of the staff.

What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering?
There’s this patient with dementia, and every once in a while he’ll say a word or something, but not too much, and he can feed himself but it takes forever. I enjoy being with him.

I was in the other day for a meeting and I got here too early so I walked around and he was there, and they were feeding him. I just love going in and saying, “Ben! How are you doing?”*

With certain people he will smile. He doesn’t have a full smile but he gets a smile when he’s recognizing you or he’s happy or whatever the case may be.

Many will say that they’re glad I came in to visit them, and that’s always nice. But Ben really stands out in my head. You can tell when he’s connecting.

*Name has been changed to protect privacy

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