Hoffman, Sherman ‘fulfilled by volunteering’ at Hospice

Published 1:10 pm Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Volunteers Denise Hoffman and Mary Sherman visit with 99-year-old Lillie Conner at White Oak Tryon. (photo submitted by Marsha Van Hecke)

“Nothing has fulfilled me in the same way that serving as a Hospice volunteer has,” said Coopers Gap resident Denise Hoffman.
Hoffman and her friend and fellow church member, Mary Sherman, prayed together for all the sick in their church.
“We had also prayed for at least a year for a more hands-on healing mission,” said Hoffman. “And when the Lord spoke to Mary and said: ‘Whatsoever you do for the least of my brethren you do for me,’ we realized that Hospice could be the perfect mission.”
Hoffman and Sherman signed up for volunteer training and said they knew immediately they were right, especially in light of the fact that Hoffman had experienced the death of her mother under Hospice care.
“I just felt the need to do it,” said Hoffman, “after Hospice was so good to Mom.”
Since the two are neighbors on the western edge of Polk County, they hit upon the concept of working as a team, driving into town together one day a week to serve as patient caregivers.
Sharing the mission was a natural for the two, they said, since they both share a passion to give back.
“Working together, we feed off each other and get uplifted spiritually,” said.
Hoffman and Sherman visit at White Oak of Tryon weekly, and occasionally at Hospice House of the Carolina Foothills in Landrum. They explain that many of those they visit are close to the end of their lives, so the two have experimented with different ways to interest the residents and cheer them. They have found an old-fashioned music box, a boom box, calendars with beautiful pictures and uplifting books cheer the residents the most.
“And of course we sing to them,” they added almost in unison.
“It has turned into a blessing for us as much as for them,” said Hoffman.
“We make it a day of friendship, lunch and service,” said Sherman. And it is obvious to see it pleases them both.
“Mary and Denise give new meaning to the phrase ‘team spirit,’” said HoCF Volunteer Manager Jean Pearson. “The work of Hospice simply wouldn’t be possible without Mary and Denise and other dedicated volunteers like them.  We are so grateful for every one of them. And always have room for more, so that no hospice patient or family goes without the help they need.”
For more information about serving as a volunteer for Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, contact Jean Pearson in Columbus at 894-2881 or Jennifer Thompson in Landrum at 864-457-9125.
– article submitted by Marsha Van Hecke

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