Employee Spotlight: Margaret Levine

Name: Margaret Levine, Bereavement Office Coordinator

How long have you worked here?
Three years.

What made you decide to work here?
I’ve been a volunteer here for 20 years. One of the things I did, besides home care, was work in the bereavement department. One of the social workers let me know that this position was going to be available and I thought, “I love doing that.” And I loved all these people. I thought I’d be happy here, and I am.

How had you heard of Angela Hospice?
Originally, I think this building had been up a couple of years. I just went by and thought that I wanted to learn more about hospice. It was kind of new to my thinking at the time. So I called them and I thought I’d take the volunteer classes but they only offered them in the day and I worked during the day. It was probably a year later before I could get in the classes, so I just kept talking to different people here about the classes. The more you hear the more interested you become, and then when they offered the nighttime classes I came and took the volunteer and bereavement training.

What’s a typical day like for you?
(huge laugh) Very busy, there’s a lot of variety in this job. I work with different volunteers every day and I spend a lot of time on the phone with them too because I send them on funeral home visits.

We set everything up for the memorials so there’s a lot of paperwork involved…getting all that information into the memorial service invites.

I talk to various people on the phone who need counseling. It kind of works out that the receptionist sends the calls to me.

We do a couple of mailings, like a six-month mailing and our angel mailing, and our grief support groups. So I coordinate all those things. I do the memorials. It kind of just goes on and on. It’s very busy but all of us kind of working together for a common goal – making sure we have bereavement for the families – which is nice.

At this year's Volunteer Appreciation dinner Margaret was
recognized for 20 years of service as a volunteer.
What is your favorite part about working at Angela Hospice?
I’ve been working for like 40 years, out there in the workforce for various organizations, but it’s like a whole different atmosphere here than in corporate organizations. First thing I noticed was every time I’d come in everyone smiles and says, “Hello!”

Everybody seems to be happy to be here. People don’t seem to be coming here because they have to get their nine to five. I really enjoy coming here and helping. You feel like no matter what you’re doing – whether it’s paperwork or if it’s hands-on care – no matter what, you’re all going to be in that same mode of helping whoever we can. I think we all just feel like that about each other. We’re really helping people with a tough time in their life. We can all relate. I guess that’s my favorite part of being here, everyone I come in contact with.

What is one of your favorite memories from your time at Angela Hospice?
I did a lot of home care as a volunteer, which I still do, and with that there’s always all these people that keep coming back into your mind that you remember. I always think if people are afraid to do home care they should always try it. They’d be surprised it’s not scary at all.

I did have one lady I would visit a couple times a week for about six months at her house. I’d do whatever she needed; I’d throw a load of laundry in, make her lunch, I’d read to her, and we’d talk. But she loved having her mending done. I would mend her lingerie because she said you can’t get those anymore so I’d have to mend them all. She was just so happy to get that done, I can’t tell you. She couldn’t do it anymore. So I went to her house for a long time and then she went to the Care Center for maybe the last month of her life (down where the supply office is nowI always think of that when I go down there). So I still came to visit her and the first thing she said when I came into her room was, “Could you do that mending?” I said, “Sure!” I ran all around this place looking for a needle and thread. Then I went to the volunteer office and they found me some, and I went in and did her mending for her.

I just remember how delighted that one little thing…what it meant to her. Even in the last weeks of her life she wanted her things to be a certain way, and you can do that. It was nothing, it was simple for me to do. There are so many simple things that you can do and it just makes the end of their life so much easier for them, I think. I always think of her.

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