Home Hospice North Lanark is one of the many organizations in North Lanark that work hard to make life better for our family, friends and neighbours. We operate 100% on donations and the proceeds from our fundraising events.
Giving Tuesday is an initiative that has gained a lot of traction in Canada in the last few years.
We respectfully ask that you consider us for your donation this year. It feels even to us that we always “have our hand out.” Honestly, that’s because it is. In order to keep up with the demand, we basically fundraise 365 days a year.
Helping people really LIVE every single day of their life is our passion.
Below is a story one of our wonderful Visiting Volunteers wrote about her experience. This is the kind of thing that happens when we help people.
So, think about it. Please. (And thank you in advance.)
Here is a special link where you can donate: https://hhnl.ca/donate-now/
If you prefer, you can also send a cheque to Home Hospice North Lanark, PO Box 787, Almonte ON K0A 1A0 Attention: Giving Tuesday
* * * * *
My name is Lynn Younghusband. I have been a Visiting Volunteer with the Home Hospice North Lanark group since October 2022.
I am also a volunteer at the local Foodbank, The Hunger Stop. Over the three years I’ve been involved with the foodbank, I’ve come to realize that, yes, people do need food, but people also need socialization and companionship. Just someone to be there and care about them. In September 2022, I heard an ad on the local radio station. The Home Hospice group was looking for “visiting volunteers.” Interesting I thought.
So I read up on what a Visiting Volunteer is expected to do…and I thought “Hey? I already do some of those things at the foodbank!” I could do that as a visiting volunteer too!
I had my interview and completed the required training courses. And then that’s when I got scared. I mean I got really scared. The job description… “bringing comfort and companionship to individuals with a terminal or life-altering medical diagnosis.” I really hadn’t thought it through. I have no experience in this. I don’t even know anyone who‘s had hospice care. I met with Emily, Home Hospice Program Coordinator. We talked through my fears, my reservations. She told me it could take some time to match me with a client. Good I thought…I have lot of time to re-think this and change my mind. And then I met my client about three weeks later.
We see each other every week, unless one of us is not feeling well. We keep in contact pretty much every day through email, texting and/or Facebook. We share pictures. We share our ups (and downs). I know her family, she knows mine.
I know about her illness and diagnosis. We do talk about it. I do worry about, it but I don’t let it be my focus…at least not for now.
Right now she is strong so we are able do things together. Just this past week, we enjoyed a Kanata Symphony Orchestra’s performance. And one afternoon next week, we’re painting Smiley faces on the Tim Horton cookies. Most of the time we meet up for coffee or maybe lunch. We might be together for an hour, but often our visits are for two or three hours. When her energy levels change, we adjust our visits accordingly. So for now, our time together is my focus.
People ask me sometimes… “Why are you doing this Lynn? This is ‘hospice care’. You know you’ll get hurt in the end”.
I don’t have a one line answer to this. All I know is that I couldn’t just stand by and watch people struggle alone. This could be me one day.
I volunteered to be a Visiting Volunteer because I had the time, and I thought I could help. I’m not sure honestly if I would have jumped aboard if COVID hadn’t happened. But it did happen. I am a Visiting Volunteer, I know what my role is, and I may have crossed some dotted line somewhere, but my companionship with my client has morphed into friendship. She is my client, but more so, she’s my friend and for that I am thankful. We will continue on this journey together.