I am delighted to be a Hos-pet volunteer and contribute to this worthy effort.
Type of Volunteer:
Where is your hometown?
I was born and raised in Fort Dodge, Iowa. (Go Hawkeyes!) I have lived in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, North Carolina, and now, South Carolina.
In what place have you lived the longest?
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
What is your favorite place that you’ve lived or visited?
I loved Colorado, the mountains are gorgeous all year long. While living in Colorado, I learned to play tennis and down-hill ski.
What convinced you to move to the Lowcountry?
My husband retired. We both played tennis and wind-surfed. After looking at several places on the East Coast, we decided on Hilton Head.
What is your current occupation? If you are retired, what was your past career?
I have an MBA (Masters in Business Administration) and I work part-time for the University of South Carolina, Small Business Development Center. I am part of a network on business consultants, in all 50 states that are associated with universities in all 50 states. We provide one-on-one business consulting for those thinking of starting a small business or for those already in business.
What are three of your favorite hobbies?
I played tennis for years but had to give it up because of vision issues and bad knees. Now, I swim, bike, workout several days a week at Beach City Fitness or Peak Performance, walk Harley, and make visits to the assisted living facilities as a Hos-pet volunteer.
Who is your most memorable patient?
Grace, was one of the first residents I met at Bloom on Hilton Head, during a regular monthly visit, was in a wheelchair and almost completely blind. Not all residents want a dog in their lap, but Grace would hold out her arms and welcome almost any size dog to sit on her lap so she could touch and pet the dog. You could see and hear her joy – in her actions and voice. The opportunity for the residents to pet and touch the dogs is very therapeutic.
What inspired you to volunteer with HCL?
I learned about the Hos-pets program from Abby Bird when Harley and I participated in one of her training programs. Since my mother had just received help from Hospice volunteers in Florida, I immediately became interested in learning more about the program and opportunities to be a volunteer.
Have you or your family been personally affected by hospice?
My mother lived to be 92 and for the last few weeks of her life, hospice volunteers in Florida helped family members tend to her needs. They were essential at explaining to our family was happening and what to expend toward end-of-life.
What is your favorite part of volunteering with hospice?
The Christmas Luncheon for Volunteers is so inspiring. I love attending this Annual Luncheon and hearing the stories about volunteers who assisted patients during the year. So many inspiring stories from so many dedicated volunteers. And Maggie Clark, as MC of the event, is not to be missed. A big shoutout to Maggie for her humor, wit, and story-telling skills!
What skills make you a better volunteer?
The experience of having seen loved ones benefit from hospice volunteers has made me, in turn, a better volunteer.
What is your most irrational fear?
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Peace on Earth – there would be no more wars, no more school shootings, no more terrorists.
What is something you would never do again?
I would never want to see my dog or any other dog suffer. It is heartbreaking to see a pet suffer.