Bridgway Hospice volunteer Michael Shattuck was recognized with the national Points of Light award for volunteer service. The award is presented by the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service for volunteers that inspire change and improve the world through their service.
Mr. Shattuck greets and directs patients at both Bridgeway Hospice and the Wellstar Health Center Infectious Disease unit. He is a friendly blessing to both patients and staff alike, welcoming and assisting however he can. His motivation to contribute stems from his own experience as a patient.
Mike was suffering from multiple illnesses for four consecutive years. He would go to a clinic, get treated, and come back home. When his medical conditions were getting treated, Mike had nobody visit him. His personal experience motivated him to help others in need of companionship and emotional support. In July 2017, he joined Bridgeway Hospice with a clear goal of contributing towards providing with the most comfortable and compassionate end-of-life experience.
Speaking of the award Michael says he is “honored to receive this award. My interpretation of Christianity is to render aid, succor and comfort to the poor, sick and dying.” He goes on to say that “you either contribute to the world or take from it. Like it or not, we are all part of one global organism.”
Points of Light engages more than four million volunteers in 30 million individual hours of service each year. They recognize a special volunteer five days a week in the US and the UK.
“The Daily Point of Light Award recognizes exceptional individuals who are using their time, talent, voice and treasure to improve the lives of others,” said Jaqueline Innocent, VP of Recognition Programs of Points of Light. “These points of light, like Michael Shattuck, make an impact on individuals while also helping build resilient communities.”
Michael Shattuck continues to inspire others with his work and hopes to show others they can make a difference in their communities too.
Bridgeway Hospice is committed to bridging the way to comfort and peace. Just like Mike’s service and commitment to hospice patients, hospice volunteering is a very rewarding experience that will challenge and enrich volunteers from all walks of life.
To learn more about Michael Shattuck’s work, visit http://www.bridgewayhospice.org/volunteer/ and http://www.pointsoflight.org/programs/recognition/dpol/awards/6238
So, you’ve decided to try volunteering with hospice and you want to know how to get started. If you haven’t yet made this wonderful and life-impacting decision, check out our article on the benefits and rewards of volunteering with hospice.
Bridgeway Hospice is a great hospice to volunteer with and, if you’re in the Atlanta area, we have a location near you. The process is thorough, but you will have someone guiding and assisting you throughout the time you are with us.
Bridgeway serves all of Metro Atlanta stretching through Northeast Atlanta and into the Athens area ( Click here to see a list of our locations ). As a volunteer you are welcome to volunteer as little or as much as you are available. No long-term commitment is needed to volunteer with Bridgeway Hospice.
After initial contact is made through phone or email, a volunteer coordinator will contact you to set up an orientation meeting. This first meeting will mostly be an informative session including a comprehensive training program. Topics range from hospice philosophy and services offered to individual needs and boundaries. This meeting is important to determine how you can best serve the patient through your strengths, skills and talents.
Bridgeway Hospice’s volunteer coordinators try to set honest and real expectations for new volunteers into what can be an impactful and rewarding volunteering endeavor. “I give them the true facts of what this experience could be and what to expect. Volunteers often tell me ‘it was exactly what you said, and I appreciate it,’” says LaShonn Waller, one of Bridgeway Hospice’s volunteer coordinators.
After the first meeting, the local volunteer coordinator will match you with patients based on their proximity to you, and the needs of the patient relative to the volunteer services you can provide.
On the first day of volunteering with a hospice patient, the volunteer coordinator will accompany you on the visit. This initial visit will be rather short and also include caregivers and other staff to determine if it is a good fit for you both. Additionally, the volunteer coordinator may take you to meet other patients in this same manner on the same day to determine which patient will be the best fit for you.
The coordinator will keep you updated and current, especially with regard to the patient. “I have 35 volunteers and I talk to each one of them every week to give them updates and just to see how they are doing,” Waller says.
Volunteering with Bridgeway Hospice will help you gain great personal satisfaction from knowing that you have made a positive impact in another person’s life. For more information please contact any of our wonderful volunteer coordinators at www.bridgewayhospice.org/volunteer/
Volunteering with hospice is an immensely rewarding experience for the volunteer and those they serve. Hospice is a form of remedy for a difficult and often depressive time for patients and their families and hospice’s goal of comfort, peace and quality of life is greatly enhanced by its volunteers.
Studies have repeatedly shown that volunteering is linked to greater levels of happiness and well-being. Additionally, caring for others has also been found to lead to happiness and fulfillment. Volunteering with a hospice is an excellent method to accomplish both.
A passion to care for others makes a real and tangible difference in people’s lives. A warm person’s smiling face increases positivity and uplifts a hospice patient and their family. Having someone new to talk with and spend time with can be a tremendous gift and blessing.
Photo by Crown Agency
Volunteers can serve in a large variety of roles. No matter your abilities or situation, you can help provide comfort and peace to others in a difficult season. Primarily, volunteers provide companionship by spending time with the patient and simply being there with them. By telling stories, listening to the patient’s stories, reading or even pet and music therapy, volunteers are a ray of light to hospice patients.
In addition to providing company to those in hospice care, volunteers are also needed to help with more practical matters. Bridgeway relies on volunteers to help with office work, fund-raising, community outreach and other operational areas.
Depending on the situation, volunteers sometimes keep vigil with the patient and/or their families during the end. However, volunteers are never asked to do something they don’t feel comfortable doing. Additionally, “In Georgia, volunteers do not participate in any hands-on care such as bathing, feeding or moving the patient,” says Shari Koch one of Bridgeway Hospice’s volunteer coordinators.
Photo by Elijah Henderson
Bridgeway serves all of Metro Atlanta stretching through Northeast Atlanta and into the Athens area. ( BridgewayHospice.org/Locations/ ). As a volunteer you are welcome to volunteer as little or as much as you are available. No long-term commitment is needed to volunteer with Bridgeway Hospice.
Volunteering with Bridgeway Hospice will help you gain great personal satisfaction from knowing that you have made a positive impact in another person’s life. For more information please contact any of our wonderful volunteer coordinators at BridgewayHospice.org/Volunteer/