Volunteer Spotlight: Paul Esser

Name: Paul Esser

How long have you been a volunteer?
A year-and-a-half.

What areas do you work in/what sort of tasks do you do as a volunteer?
Bereavement, spiritual care, mailings, and events. Hopes to get more involved with the We Honor Veterans program and direct patient care.

What made you decide to become a volunteer?
Well, for one thing, I’m retired. I truly appreciate the work of hospice; I’m all for what they do here, you know, helping people to pass with as much comfort as possible, helping the families. That’s something our society doesn’t do very well, so it’s nice to have a place like a hospice here.

Why Angela Hospice?
I’ve heard so much about it. I guess you could say my father was among the first people when they were starting hospice. They were still over in the hospital area and he was sort of being treated as an outpatient. That was the first year they were trying to get it started. So he died in my sister’s home but he would get his medicine from [Angela Hospice]. And they did send somebody to visit with him. So that was my first experience with Angela Hospice.

So I thought, you know, volunteering, this would be a place I would certainly like to put my effort [towards].

One of the areas Paul (right) volunteers in is at our
annual events, like Arbor Day.
What is your favorite part about volunteering?
Well, it’s probably two things. One is I believe in my soul, my spirit, that I can be a helpful presence, either listening or if I’m asked something, I think I can give hopefully wise answers…So there’s that spiritual connection.

The other part of that is more selfish. It gives me a real sense of satisfaction to do something to me that’s so meaningful. Being present for people, the family members that are going through this…I know first-hand what that’s like. I’ve lost both my children, and of course a lot of other family and friends. I have first-hand experience with what that’s like and I think I can be at least empathetic, but also just being present to people at a time of spiritual crossroads. People are going through such a profound, painful experience and just the idea of being able to be some sort of help, some sort of comfort at that point, is very, I guess, satisfying to me.

What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering?
My favorite moments are when I’m with other volunteers hearing some of their stories – not always specific things about Angela Hospice, but just listening and recognizing that I’m among people who are caring and giving and really do, not just talk about it, but really do something for other people. It’s just pleasant to be amongst such people.

No comments:

Post a Comment