Portraits of loss, grief care, and compassion
Written by: Bev DeJovine, FVHH Board of Directors
“This is often the best thing I do in my week.”
John and his family moved to Wayne from Portland Oregon, after an 11-year career in advertising, when he experienced a life-changing event – his mom passed away without warning.
Yearning to honor his mom’s memory, he dedicates his rare positive energy and compassion to being with the Supportive Care residents. He’s also been a volunteer with the “Hands of Hope” an FVHH program which provides companionship during cancer treatment.
What situation brought you to FVHH?
After the unexpected passing of his mom, John sought a way to contribute to the community and honor his mom.After volunteering with another organization, an ad in the local paper promoting The Garden Party, our annual fundraiser, led John to FVHH. He attended training, and well, as they say, the rest is history.John has been generously providing his compassion and kindness for the last 4 years.
What helps the most?
Just knowing that the person knows you’re there for them – just for them. Often you might be the only person visiting who is not part of a medical team or there for another purpose.The FVHH training is fabulous – and it’s not until you get into the field that you realize just how well prepared you are.
What advice would you share with others in a similar situation?
John portrays his engagement as deeply fulfilling, gratifying and life-affirming. He finds it troubling that he’s been unable to enlist other friends to join him and would love for others to volunteer. Contrary to what others may think, John finds these interactions overwhelmingly positive and that all people can be funny and quite enjoyable. “There are definitely some awkward and hard moments given the situation, but it really helps me to stay present and focused – nothing pulls me out of my zone while I’m there.”
Volunteers are a vibrant and essential force within Fox Valley Hands of Hope.
Some opportunities include patient and family care, bereavement one-on-one support, support group facilitation, Spanish language interpretation services, community outreach and ambassadorship, fundraising and event support, office administration support, and even gardening! Check our our website for more information about our volunteer opportunities, Click Here!
Fox Valley Hands of Hope provides extensive and ongoing training programs for its volunteers, with orientation sessions scheduled monthly.
For more information, contact Adriana Torres, Manager of Volunteer Services at 630.232.2233, ext 227, or email email@example.com