Inspiring Care: Veronica Evans and Her Band of Volunteers Are the Heart of Crossroads
Crossroads Hospice wouldn’t be able to provide the services and programs it does if it weren’t for the selfless, dedicated volunteers who support its work every day. In fact, the hospice industry is required by Medicare to have five percent of its operating hours conducted by volunteers. That’s why people like Veronica Evans are such valuable members of the Crossroads team.
Veronica is Volunteer Manager for Crossroads Hospice in Lenexa, KS. She is responsible for recruiting and retaining the individuals who spend their free time caring for patients and supporting the administration staff. “Without volunteers, Crossroads would not exist,” Veronica says. “Every day, I’m out in the community meeting people who want to help others. I have a mutual friendship with those who become our volunteers. How are they doing? How can I support them? I want to help them give as much as they want to Crossroads.”
Veronica’s aptitude for recruitment came from a longstanding career at a staffing agency in Missouri where she sought out employees for hospitals and hospices. She met a Crossroads chaplain who asked her to interview for a position with the newly-opened site in Lenexa. After initially signing on as a receptionist, Veronica eventually became the Volunteer Manager and hasn’t looked back.
“I was very honored and blessed that they considered me for this position,” she says. “I was so excited to be green!”
After more than a decade of perfecting her craft, Veronica has volunteer recruitment down to a science. Starting at the newly-established Lenexa site with no volunteers, she now works with a group of 50. She credits her affable personality and admiration for those who dedicate their lives to others for her success.
“I love meeting all different kinds of people. I’m very much a people person,” she says. “Meeting volunteers who want to help others makes me want to be a better person and help them to do that. I believe in what I do and I’m passionate about what I do. I love sharing stories, inspiring others, and educating people on hospice care. I let them know that they don’t have to sit in front of a patient to make a difference. They can come into the office, help us with filings and mailing, and they are still making a difference.”
A Working Friendship
With the utmost respect for those who work on behalf of Crossroads staff and patients and ask nothing in return, Veronica does everything she can to let those under her supervision know their efforts are appreciated.
“I want our volunteers to feel like they are part of the Crossroads family,” she says. “I include them in our Christmas party and picnics. I want a volunteer to be able to come in and tell me what they want to do and how they think we should do it. We are open to different ideas that volunteers have. I tell them during training, ‘If we talk the talk, then we will walk the walk.’ If we say we’re going to do something for them, then we will.”
One of the ways Veronica fosters a friendly environment for her volunteers is by hosting a coffee reception on the first Friday of every month.
“Our volunteers love to meet others that are doing the same things,” she says. “We get together, share stories, decompress, and talk about ideas on how to do things better. I had a guest speaker from the Alzheimer’s Association come in and talk about different things that volunteers could do while visiting a patient with dementia.”
It’s All About Doing More
For Veronica and her group of volunteers, the driving force behind their work comes down to the patients. Veronica is motivated every day by the desire her volunteers have to help and the needs that Crossroads patients and their families rely on them to fulfill.
“My job is like putting a puzzle together,” she says. “I’m successful when I have a family in need and I find the volunteer available to provide for that. That need can be for companionship or one of our incredible programs. I have volunteers that help with Gift of a Day, with the Life Journal program, with Veteran’s Recognition. Every day, my goal is to find out what need is out there and figure out how we can meet it.”
Ultimately, Veronica doesn’t see how she could spend her days doing anything less.
“We do more because it’s the right thing to do,” she says. “That’s why we’re here as Crossroads employees and volunteers. To make sure we provide support to those who need it.”
Honoring Our Volunteer Managers
We’re proud to honor Veronica Evans as our Crossroads Hospice “Staff Spotlight” recipient of the month, and recognize our other Volunteer Managers who work to provide care for our patients each day, including Kim Mumper in Philadelphia, Karen Goodson in Kansas City, Linda Courtney in Memphis, and Doree McBride in Dayton.
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