My mother volunteered, so I volunteered too
“My mother volunteered, so I volunteered, too,” says Liz Heagle from Waconia, pictured at age 15 with her mother Carmen. Ever since she can remember, volunteering has been a special part of Liz’s life.
Liz Heagle is one of Ridgeview’s first hospice volunteers. She was recruited with five other volunteers when the program began in 1999, to provide companionship and support for patients and families at the end of life. And although the program has grown—its mission remains the same.
One of Liz’s fondest memories volunteering is from her childhood when she was age 12. Liz lived one block from an elderly blind woman named Gerdie, whom she visited each week to offer companionship and help with small household chores.
“We built a strong bond over the years as Gerdie really ‘watched me grow up,’” explains Liz. “We remained friends long after I moved away.”
“Although helping with small tasks is important, sometime the best gift you can give to another is to just be present and listen to their story,” Liz adds.
Fast forward from the beginning of the program—today, Ridgeview Hospice has 45 active volunteers. And as Ridgeview’s service area continues to grow, so does the need for caring adults to become involved as hospice volunteers. The program’s greatest need is in the outlying communities of Ridgeview’s service area [PDF] —although new volunteers are welcome and needed throughout the region.
To learn more about becoming a Ridgeview hospice volunteer, call 952-777-4190.