April is National Volunteer Month, and Hospice Compassus Monett will honor their Barry and Lawrence county volunteers with a special appreciation luncheon at noon on Saturday, April 16 at Big Baldy's BBQ in Monett.
Approximately 30 volunteers from the bi-county area will be honored for their service during the luncheon.
"With our current caseload, we are always in need of more volunteers," said Dorothy Blinzler, volunteer coordinator for the local chapter of Hospice Compassus. "There are a number of ways people can volunteer, and we even have positions in the office for those who don't wish to have patient contact."
The local team is made up of individuals who perform Angel Watches, sitting with families of terminally ill patients during their last hours as well as those who serves as caregivers and respite providers, who allow primary caregivers the opportunity to run errands or take short breaks. Other volunteers help out in the office, assisting with paperwork, letter writing or sending cards to clients and their families. Another volunteer task involves organizing the fulfillment of Dream Team wishes, granting, if possible, a lifetime experience the client has always dreamed of but never had.
"People seem to receive a lot of satisfaction in being able to help others," Blinzler said. "We let the families know they are not alone. I have learned more from the families I've worked with than I ever thought I could. It's a good feeling."
Blinzler decided to become a hospice volunteer after her own brother died from a brain tumor.
"I knew then that I needed to try and help others with what they're going through," she said.
The local service area covers Barry and portions of Lawrence counties, including the Pierce City and Monett areas.
Those interested in information about becoming a volunteer may contact Blinzler at the Monett office at 235-9097. A seven-hour training course and background checks are required.