“Making people smile is my passion,” says Crossroads Hospice volunteer Donnita Humphrey. It’s a job she does well.
Donnita first became familiar with Crossroads through her knitting group. Tasked with finding three facilities to carry the items the group knitted, we were lucky enough to be on the receiving end of their beautiful work.
Soon, Donnita wanted to do more. She says, “My mother had Alzheimer’s Disease for six years. Seeing other people with dementia touches a special place in my heart, and I just want to make them smile.”
Donnita now visits three patients living in assisted living facilities four times a month. “I take walks with them. I point out the flowers and the paintings on the walls. Often they don’t notice them until you point them out, “ Donnita explains. While she typically does patient visits, Donnita has also had the chance to be involved in some special events like a Gift of a Day wedding and appearing on a local radio show to talk about her work as a hospice volunteer.
“It takes a special person to be a hospice volunteer. Your whole heart has to be in it to hold the hand of someone with Alzheimer’s,” advises Donnita. “They might have food on their face and hands, but you can’t be afraid because they need someone to hold their hand. It takes a sincere love to do that for someone you don’t know.”
She continues, “Once, I stopped by to visit with a woman and she looked so sad. She took me by the hand, and we walked the halls together. This 85-year-old woman just kept going and going. I was so tired, but she was smiling, and that made me smile.”
And for Donnita, that’s what volunteering is all about: “It’s all worth it to give me the opportunity to help people smile again.”
To learn more about volunteering or any of our Crossroads Hospice programs, please contact us at 888-564-3405.
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