A new hospice volunteer training is coming up September 29, and Hospice Care Plus is especially encouraging men and veterans to attend.

Howard Thompson volunteers once or twice a month to help maintain the grounds at Hospice Care Plus. Hospice is training a new group of volunteers on Sept. 29, and especially encourages men and veterans to attend.

The training is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Compassionate Care Center in Richmond. Pre-registration is required. To register, contact Stefanie Manes, volunteer coordinator, at 859-626-9292 or hospice@hospicecp.org.

Stefanie says anyone age 14 and up is welcome. She does, however, have a special need for male and veteran volunteers.

“We have a number of male patients and male caregivers who feel more comfortable with other men,” says Stefanie. “We have a wonderful group of male volunteers, but we could use a few more.”

Stefanie adds that the organization’s We Honor Veterans program is also in need of veteran volunteers, both male and female.

“Our veteran patients and caregivers sometimes need to process their experiences with fellow veterans who understand,” says Stefanie. “And our We Honor Veterans program also includes recognition ceremonies thanking our veteran patients for their service. We’re always in need of veterans who are willing to help with those brief, bedside recognitions.”

Howard Thompson, a Richmond resident, has volunteered for Hospice Care Plus for the past few years. He’s active in his community as a small-businesses owner and Rotary member, so volunteering comes naturally to him.

“I was motivated by the loving care they gave to my wife,” says Mr. Thompson. “And it’s very rewarding to those who give their time.”

Mr. Thompson volunteers to help with landscaping needs. He prunes, weeds, waters, and works with other landscaping volunteers to keep the grounds of the Hospice Care Plus Berea office and Compassionate Care Center in good shape.

“Mr. Thompson came to us wanting to help, and he enjoys gardening,” says Stefanie. “He’s also very busy. That’s what we do for our volunteers: match them with work they feel comfortable with and that they have time to do. For Mr. Thompson, coming in once or twice a month to weed and prune works well, and it’s a great help to us, too.”

The training prepares volunteers to work in any of Hospice’s programs. The week following training, Stefanie works one-on-one with each new volunteer to learn what area they want to work in and how much time they want to give. Volunteer opportunities include the hospitality desk at the Compassionate Care Center, administrative support in the Berea office, caregiver and patient support in homes or at the Center, therapy pet handler, grief support, sewing and craft projects, veteran-to-veteran support, and much more.

To learn more or to register for the training, visit hospicecareplus.org or contact Stefanie at 859-626-9292 or hospice@hospicecp.org.  The Facebook New Volunteer Training Event page is also a great place to learn more and get the latest information.

Hospice Care Plus is a non-profit provider of hospice, palliative, and bereavement care in Estill, Jackson, Lee, Madison, Owsley, and Rockcastle counties. All services are provided regardless of ability to pay, thanks in part to the support of over 100 volunteers.