More, please: A group of Omaha volunteers seeks additional help. The volunteer project will take place Saturday, which is Join Hands Day, a national day of service sponsored by Modern Woodmen of America and other fraternal benefit societies. In Omaha, volunteers will need additional help to provide a dinner to the residents at Hospice House-The Josie Harper Residence, 7415 Cedar St. For more information or to volunteer to help with the local project, call Stacia Vawter at 402-968-4315.
Through VNA: Visiting Nurse Association celebrates its 200 volunteers and is looking for more. Volunteers at VNA fall into two general categories: hospice and agency volunteers. Agency volunteers may help patients with friendly visits, companionship and conversation or with certain programs such as Project Next Step (assisting individuals in transition from homelessness to independence). Other agency volunteer work includes office help, assistance at flu and immunization clinics and at annual events, such as Art & Soup or Cooking for VNA. Hospice volunteers take three days of formal training. The next training session will be in June. Hospice volunteers provide three types of services:
» Companionship — These volunteers provide friendly visits weekly to hospice patients with a time commitment of 2½ to four hours a week
» Respite — These volunteers give families or caregivers a four-hour break so the caregiver can have personal time.
» Transition in Life Companions (TLC) — These volunteers require extra training because they specialize in end-of-life care. They provide companionship so the patient is not alone, especially in circumstances when the family is unable to be at the patient's side.
VNA also has volunteers who create “Memory Bears” for the families of hospice patients. Teddy bears are sewn out of the favorite clothing of the loved one that has passed.
Persons interested in volunteering can contact VNA at 402-342-5566 or at thevnacares.org to fill out a volunteer enrollment form, and provide two references.
Compiled by Sue Story Truax