No other branch in health care embraces volunteers as passionately as hospice does.
Heartlinks relies on volunteers in many unique and important ways. Each volunteer brings something special to help fulfill our mission of providing quality hospice care to patients and their families. Volunteers are the heart of hospice.
There are many ways volunteers can support the work of Heartlinks. Whether you are volunteering for office support, patient and family support or volunteering at our resale shop in Prosser or Zillah, you are making a difference in the lives of our patients and families.
Volunteers are a very important piece in the hospice realm and are used in nearly all aspects of the program. Hospice volunteers come from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds and professions. This diversity of life experiences is what makes each individual unique and valuable to hospice volunteering.
Even though the hospice volunteer roles are quite diverse, they are commonly divided into two major categories: 1) those who are directly involved with the care of a dying person and their family, and 2) those who indirectly support the dying by providing services directly to Heartlinks.
Patient / Family Volunteers
Volunteers are perceived by hospice patients as just ordinary people from the community. As a result of this relationship, volunteers are able to help normalize the hospice experience for patients and their families. This is not only beneficial to the patient, but also very beneficial to the hospice team. Volunteers are able to spend more time with patients and their families, providing increased involvement in putting them at ease and gaining their trust. This allows the volunteer to gain deeper insights into the patient’s ongoing experience with their hospice care and thus provide valuable feedback to the clinical team.
Office / Event Volunteers
Office volunteers and/or event volunteers are much-needed extra hands that play a key role in events, mailings and other daily operations of the office.
As an aspiring doctor, nurse, social worker or nursing assistant, volunteering for hospice can be an invaluable opportunity for professional and personal growth. Consider supporting your education in the classroom with hands-on experience, by providing compassion and care to Heartlinks patients and their families in the Benton and Yakima County area.
HOBS (Hospice Benefit Shop) is our second-hand store. We have one in Prosser and one in Zillah. Both provide much-needed financial support to our Palliative Care Program. Both second-hand shops rely on volunteers to process donations, price inventory and work the cash register.
Pet Therapy Volunteers
Dogs, cats and rabbits can bring joy, comfort and peace to patients suffering from a terminal illness, especially those with an Alzheimer’s or Dementia disease. Heartlinks will pay for you and your pet to become therapy certified and work with your schedule to visit as many patients are you are able to. Our goal is to offer weekly, in-home pet therapy visits to all hospice and palliative care patients who want it.