Crossroads Hospice is looking for volunteers with compassionate hearts and good listening skills.
And, if you’re a veteran, that’s a bonus — because veterans to serve other veterans are especially needed.
Rebecca Clark is volunteer manager for Crossroads Hospice, which serves patients in 10 Northeast Ohio counties, including Columbiana, Trumbull and Mahoning.
Crossroads Hospice includes a Vet to Vet program to connect volunteers with veterans who are patients; Gift of a Day zeroes in on special wishes; Life Journal is about a keepsake book; and Gift of Giving through the Art of Living involves creative projects.
Clark said Crossroads Hospice developed a Veterans Recognition Program. “We give a certificate of recognition, a flag pin and sing patriotic songs, including those from the branches of service,” she said. “Typically, it’s a family event.”
Clark said experience has shown Crossroads staff that a veteran-to-veteran experience has an especially positive outcome because they relate to one another through the service connection.
The hospice also will create a life-journal as a keepsake for all patients and their families. Clark said volunteers interview patients, when possible, and family members. From their stories, a chronicle of the patient’s life is written, supplemented with photos, and compiled into a green, leather-bound book. A set of questions is provided to volunteers as a guideline. Clark said family members are given a copy to proof for accuracy and make photo identifications. An English teacher on staff also checks the material.
“This is our way of making a difference in their lives ... they leave their stories for their families,” Clark said. “It also helps in closure for the family.”
Those in Crossroads Hospice care have a life expectancy of a year or less, Clark said. “We serve patients in hospitals, other facilities and their homes,” she said. “It’s not only about a peaceful passing, but a life legacy.”
Read more about the project in Saturday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.