Wright shares talents as Hospice volunteer

Published 9:06 am Monday, August 22, 2011

Volunteer Jack Wright works on the new pergola at the Hospice House in Landrum. (photo submitted)

They’re students. They’re retirees. They range in age from 14 to 92 and come from diverse backgrounds and locations, yet they have one thing in common: They all volunteer for Hospice of the Carolina Foothills (HoCF).
Opportunities to volunteer abound, from much-needed patient and family support, to retail positions at the Hospice Thrift Barn, to office work, special events coordination and much more.
“The main criteria are to be dependable and have a heart for helping others,” says HoCF CEO Jean Eckert.
One individual who keeps finding new and creative ways to help out is Jack Wright. One day a week for three hours, you’ll find Wright at the Hospice Thrift Barn testing donated appliances to be sure they are in working condition before putting them out on the sale floor. He was inspired to volunteer when he heard Hospice would be opening a store.
“My working years were in retail. I had a hardware store. I felt I could contribute my expertise setting up the barn in start up. I enjoyed it so much I stayed on and continued,” Wright said.
In addition to sharing his business skills, Wright shares another passion, his talent for carpentry. If you stroll along the Path of Remembrance at the Hospice House, and stop for a moment to rest and reflect in the shade of the pergola, you’ll  enjoy Wright’s handiwork.
When asked what he would say to people contemplating volunteering for Hospice, Wright said, “I think they’re going to enjoy helping out a great organization, and the relationship with all the other volunteers is wonderful. You get to know them. That’s as much fun as anything else. I don’t think of it as work. It’s fun.”
HoCF has scheduled its next full training session over four evenings between Sept. 27 and Oct. 6. All potential patient companion volunteers take the mandatory 12-hour course to learn about hospice history, philosophy, the concept of interdisciplinary team care and the bereavement support system. The course also covers the medical, emotional and spiritual aspects of hospice care, ethical issues, the process of illness, stress relief and communication skills. Attendees then decide whether or not they’d like to serve as a volunteer.
Non-patient volunteers attend the first evening of the four-night training. Thrift Barn trainings are held each week.
“One person does make a difference,” said Eckert. “No matter what your gift, interests, or time availability, we need you to be a part of our team.”
For information about volunteering at the Thrift Barn, stop by the store or contact Tracey Brannon at 864-457-7348 or tbrannon@hocf.org.
For more information about all other volunteer opportunities and to register for the next training session, contact the volunteer department at 828-894-7000 or 864-457-9122.
– article submitted
by Marsha Van Hecke

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