Monday, February 16, 2015

State of the Heart Hospice Seeking Volunteers: Orientation Set for February 25 in Greenville

State of the Heart Hospice is seeking volunteers to help the nonprofit agency serve the agency in many capacities, provide support to staff and help with various volunteer tasks. State of the Heart will hold an orientation for volunteers Wednesday, February 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the agency’s Greenville office, 1350 N. Broadway. Lunch will be provided.

“Volunteers are always needed by our agency,” stated Pauline Faller, Volunteer Manager. Volunteers are an important part of the team which cares for patients and families. Last year, State of the Heart Hospice volunteers gave over 7,000 hours of their time, saving the agency nearly $75,000. State of the Heart cares for patients and families in eastern Indiana and western Ohio who are confronting a life limiting illness. Other offices are in Coldwater and Portland.

Faller said that there is a need for volunteers to sit with patients, allowing caregivers to take a break or run errands. “Often, patients just like to visit with the volunteer, sharing life experiences and enjoy the presence of someone who likes to listen,” she said. Volunteers can choose what they want to do, with flexibility in hours they volunteer, and no personal patient care is required. While there is always a need for volunteers, Faller added that the agency would like to have more male volunteers. “We have found that many of our male patients particularly enjoy a visit from another man and they talk about hunting and fishing, farming and their work careers.”

One volunteer, who is “retiring” after 15 years of service, is Margie Homan of Coldwater. Homan explained that she started volunteering for State of the Heart’s Coldwater office with her husband. “When I started as a volunteer, I knew that I did not want patient contact, so looked for something else,” she explained. She and her husband served for many years as couriers, taking interoffice mail back and forth to the agency’s Portland and Greenville offices. “It was fulfilling and satisfying, and I felt good that I was helping the agency,” she said.

Faller pointed out that it is necessary to have new volunteers as sometimes volunteers decide to do something else, or feel they want to “retire” from their volunteering. Joining Homan in retiring recently is Alvera Schmitz who served as a volunteer for 20 years out of the Greenville office. Together, she and Homan have 35 years of devoted service to State of the Heart, giving nearly 1800 hours to the agency. “This is an inspiring record,” Faller stated, praising both volunteers for their years of service. Schmitz was out of town and not available to comment on her years of service.

“I can speak for her commitment,” Faller said. “She was always willing to help, but more importantly always willing to learn from our patients and staff.” Faller said. “We will miss her flexibility and how open minded she was toward our patients and their circumstances. Both volunteers will be greatly missed.

“Losing two valued volunteers such as Margie and Alvera emphasizes that we need new volunteers willing to help in the same ways that they did,” she said. She added that a pre-orientation interview is required to enable the prospective volunteer to explore what the needs of the agency are, and how they can help. Volunteers help in many ways, including sitting with patients, delivering medical supplies, and helping in the office as well as with fund raising and promotional activities. State of the Heart has a pet therapy program with volunteers using their own dogs for patient visits. There is also a need for volunteers with their pets for patient visits.

To set up a pre-orientation interview to learn more about volunteering for State of the Heart, call Faller at 548-2999. She can also answer any questions for those with pets interested in the pet therapy program. For more information about the services provided by state of the Heart, visit the agency web site at

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