A helper by nature, Gina Cipri came to Regional Hospice in 2016 after a positive experience with hospice care inspired her to do more. As a floral arrangement volunteer and a gala volunteer, Gina has given over 200 hours of her time to support Regional Hospice patients and their families as they face this final phase of life.
Why do you support Regional Hospice?
Hospice played a tremendous role in the care of both my mother and mother-in-law. After they were both diagnosed with cancer, hospice guided us in making difficult decisions, supported us in an end-of-life treatment plan, and treated these two special ladies with so much love , dignity and respect. Hospice is such a savior during one of the most difficult times in life.
What roles do you serve for Regional Hospice?
Thursday has become my most favorite day of the week!! I help create floral arrangements to help brighten up patient rooms. This also provides me with an opportunity to say a friendly “hello” to patients and their families. Although it’s a small offering, it’s a wonderful way to connect with patients and families and then leave them with something beautiful to brighten their day.
I also spend my time collecting donations for Hospice fundraising events.
What has your experience volunteering for Regional Hospice been like for you?
For me, volunteering at Regional Hospice has served as a sense of purpose and giving back to the community. It makes me feel as though I am making a difference in someone’s life. I have always made volunteering an integral part of my life, since I was in elementary school working with special needs children. I have met amazing people that have turned into good friends.
What’s really exceptional, as well, is the countless “thank you’s” I receive whenever I’m there.
Tell us more about why you spend time soliciting donations for our events?
I am so proud to be a part of this amazing establishment and always look forward to sharing all I know to local businesses. My experience thus far is how generous our community is, and is always willing to donate. Most all of the people I have spoken to have had some kind of experience with Regional Hospice and many times people give with tears in their eyes, a warm hug and a huge thank you. Its’ also a little bit of an addiction of mine!!!
Have you had the opportunity to meet any of the people we serve? Under what circumstances? What were your impressions?
I have had the opportunity to meet the people served. I did have an opportunity to get to know one person, in particular, and looked forward to sitting with her when delivering flowers. I will tell you that I learned so much from her and her life. I was in awe of her strength and dignity and always walked away wondering who received more from the visit. I now know I got much more out of it than she did, and that was a wonderful gift.
What would you tell someone considering making a donation to or supporting Regional Hospice?
I would tell anyone listening to me that Regional Hospice’s Center for Comfort Care and Healing is truly an amazing facility. Everything about it is pure perfection. The rooms with private balconies are gorgeous, it is decorated impeccably, and the food is scrumptious.
But most of all, Regional Hospice provides a safe, nurturing environment staffed with the most professional people that are there to make this difficult time as stress-free as possible.
I also share information about the Healing Hearts grief and bereavement program, and how this free program is an incredible support for the community.