4/12/2023 April is Volunteer Recognition Month! We are grateful for the commitment of those who volunteer with the Healing Patch Children's Grief Program and Family Hospice.
Volunteers are the heart of the Healing Patch Children's Grief Program. Without them, these free services could not exist for the grieving children and families of our community. It takes a special type of person to absorb the tragic stories children share at the Healing Patch. While volunteers must understand they are unable to “fix” what has happened, volunteers are able to help bring hope and healing back into the life of a child.
"As the Volunteer Coordinator/Grief Specialist, I work with 100 volunteers currently between those who facilitate peer support groups in Blair or Cambria County and those who sew memory bears for the children," says Shalen Steinbugl, Healing Patch Volunteer Coordinator/Grief Specialist. I can say firsthand that every single one of these volunteers gives with their entire heart. They volunteer because they have a passion for helping others. They make my job incredibly easy—they’re reliable and dependable. But they also make my job possible—without them, we couldn’t provide free grief services to local families in need. I’m beyond grateful for the 'family' of volunteers that has formed at the Healing Patch."
Healing Patch volunteers are needed to facilitate groups, greet families, serve food, complete sewing projects, and serve in special supportive roles.
Click here for more information about becoming a Healing Patch volunteer.
Blair Healing Patch Volunteers
Sidra Arshad, Tom Ashburn, Margy Baumgartner, Michelle Beard, Joe Bilka, Jesse Blank, Tina Brubaker, Jody Christen, Nan Covert, Tess Crawford, Gabrielle Cronin, Bob Diamond, Maureen Dodson, Donna Downing, Katie Fiore, James Gerraughty, Natalie Graham, Sherry Hayford, Becky Hazenstab, Soozie Holzer, Deb Hommer, Jessica Hunter, Nancy Imes, Gina Itle, Tina Karl, Trez Knob, Sue LeCrone, Denise Mason, Rose McCale, Matthew McCaulley, Chris McConnell, Holly Mohler, Shannon Morris, Mickey Port, Terry Riley, Ali Robinson, Brigid Sheedy, Alex Seltzer, Kent Tonkin, Jessica White, Rhonda White, Katie Whysong, and Jen Zupon
Cambria Healing Patch Volunteers
Joann Adams, Kathy Bradley, Tammy Brletrick, Gina Burkhard, Beth Burkhart, Sue Burris, Martha Criste, Camilla Farabaugh-Miller, Sue Glass, Monica Klatt, Cortney Langerholc, Madison Major, Gina Miller, Teresa Middleton, Naomi Paluch, Sue Shumar, Kim Sieg, Steve Tomlinson, Sharon Troy, Pam Wasnick, and Michelle Wysong
Kim Adelman, Lynn Ashe, Rose Battista, Martine Beck, Kathy Bradley, Rachel Claar, Sara Clossin, Clara Davis, Patty Doty, Donna Downing, Betty Ann Farabaugh, Peg Frantz, Lillian Gainvors, Sandy Kustaborder, Patti Isenberg, Kim Massar, Susan Maurer, Sherry Metzker, Christine McConnell, Tammy Miller, Barbara Miltenberger, Deanna Phillips, Patti Price, Sally Ripka, Brenda Servello, Theresa Shoemaker, Janet Smith, Martha Smith, Janice Snowberger, Alane Timmerman, Yvonne Wilson, Betty Zaliznock, and Beatrice Zurilla
Family Hospice volunteers embrace the opportunity and privilege to support patients and their families through a significant and inevitable season of life. Hospice volunteers make an impact in various ways, such as visiting with patients, providing relief for caregivers, assisting with clerical tasks as needed, making phone calls, supporting grieving family members, and more.
“Family Hospice volunteers are a special group of people who are continually making a difference,” shares Catherine Zimmerman-Moyer, Family Hospice Volunteer Coordinator in Bedford, Blair, and Cambria counties. “These ‘Silent Angels’ of hospice are compassionate, kind and loving. They see the value of being present with a hospice patient while providing caregiver relief to family member. They also understand the importance of walking with someone in their grief journey. They know that grief is just love with no place to go, and they understand with that major loss comes new beginnings.”
Volunteer involvement is determined by the individual’s skills, desires, and schedule. Volunteers are good listeners who display flexibility, understanding, and empathy. The time commitment for a volunteer can vary from several times per month to weekly. There are differing volunteer opportunities to match the strength and availability of volunteers. Specialized training is provided for new volunteers.
“Volunteers make all the difference to the patients and families that they serve,” says Daun Boyle, Family Hospice Volunteer Coordinator in Somerset County. “Their caring, compassion and willingness to give of their time and talents is such a pure and powerful gesture. Volunteers are simply giving from the heart anything that they have to give, whether it be when visiting patients or helping in the hospice offices. They are angels.”
“We have a remarkable team of Family Hospice volunteers who are still eager to give of themselves during the COVID-19 outbreak," shares Carole Palmer, Family Hospice Volunteer and Bereavement Coordinator in Centre, Huntingdon, and Mifflin counties. "Even though social distancing is now the norm and in person visits are not permitted at this time, our volunteers know how important our services are to our patients and their families. Relationships are formed as volunteers tenderly listen on the phone and send handwritten notes offering encouraging words of hope. Thank you to all of our Family Hospice volunteers for your generosity!”
For more information on becoming a Family Hospice volunteer, please reach out to the Volunteer Coordinator in your area:
Bedford County Volunteer Team
Lynn Ashe of Breezewood, Terry Doran of Central City, Rose McGhee of Dudley and Vicki Oster of Bedford
Blair County Volunteer Team
Paula Ellstrom of Altoona, Ann Foust of Altoona, Betty Friedenberger of Altoona, Laura Hines of Martinsburg, Pastor Joe Hollen of Fallentimber, Gina Itle of Martinsburg, Vicki Johns of Hollidaysburg, Michele Lloyd of Duncansville, Sharon Long of Hollidaysburg, Becky Mathers of Altoona and Sherry Merritts of Tyrone
Cambria County Volunteer Team
Doreen Braniff of Revloc, Nicole Carpinello of Windber, Kimberly Colberg of Carrolltown, Martha Criste of Ebesnburg, Terry Doran of Central City, Mary Estep of Cresson, Joan Gregg of Cresson, Pastor Joe Hollen of Fallentimber, John Soldo of Ligonier, Sharon Troy of Portage and Michelle Wysong of Gallitzin
Centre County Volunteer Team
Sharon Gaddes of Boalsburg, Dolly Knepp of Bellefonte, Nate Myer of State College, Vicky Schirm of State College
Huntingdon County Volunteer Team
Bob Colton of Huntingdon, Jim Foster of Alexandria, Barbara Grove of Huntingdon, TyJuan Hartman of Huntingdon, Ray Lawler of Alexandria, Debbie Lillibridge of Alexandria, Sandie Mitchell of Hesston, Pat Ross of Mount Union, and Mary Ann Smith of Huntingdon
Mifflin County Volunteer Team
Carolyn Butterworth of Lewistown, Jacob Fultz of Lewistown, Carolyn Leacy of Lewistown
Somerset County Volunteer Team
Sharron Baer and Sally Ware of Friedens; Molly Baker of Fairhope; Reba Caton, Veil James and Carol Wagner of Stoystown; Margaret Charney and Barb Dirienzo of Rockwood; Evan Garland, George Illar, Sue Illar, Karen McKalips, Pam Miller, Beverly Mostoller and Jodi Shaffer of Somerset; Daisy Henry of Garrett and Mickie St. Clair of Boswell