Volunteer Spotlight: A Piece of Comfort

Jacki Shipley might not have had any hospice experience before becoming an Angela Hospice volunteer, but she did have barbeque experience.

“I barbeque as much as I can in the summer,” she laughed. “I love the grill.”

Jacki, who has been an Angela Hospice volunteer since 2009, has been working at the Care Center’s weekly summer barbeques the last few years. She doesn’t work the grill here though – another volunteer does that – but she does help in plenty of other ways.

A short list includes making salads and desserts, helping set up the food and silverware before patients and their families arrive, and bringing food to patients in the Care Center that can’t make it to the atrium.

“I think the whole hospitality piece is just a great thing that Angela Hospice does,” Jacki said. “Whether it’s the caretaker dinners, or tea, or the barbeques during the summer…sometimes it’s someone in the family’s only meal.

“To be able to give them some little piece of comfort is nice,” she continued.

Those small moments of providing comfort are one of Jacki’s favorite parts about the barbeques. She said when she’s able to see an entire family come down together and relax, that is another favorite part.

Jacki helps in many ways at the weekly barbeques.
“It’s nice to see people out of their rooms and enjoying each other,” Jacki said.

Jacki has gotten to meet a lot of interesting people while volunteering at the barbeques. She thinks anyone would make a good barbeque volunteer, as long as they’re open to whatever they may experience.

“Just come and smile and enjoy,” she said.

Being open to new experiences is how Jacki ended up volunteering at Angela Hospice in the first place. After talking to a friend whose father had been an Angela Hospice patient, Jacki figured she would check it out. So she went on the Angela Hospice website, saw they had volunteer training, and decided to sign up.

“I took the training and I just didn’t really look back after that,” she laughed.

Once she started volunteering, she saw an ad in the volunteer newsletter about working the barbeques. So why did she sign up? She said it just looked like fun.

“I thought, ‘Who doesn’t love a barbeque?’” she said. “I like barbeques. It looked like a really neat thing to do.”

Jackie has been working at the barbeques ever since. How long does she plan to continue volunteering? There’s no end in sight.

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