Ginny Strauch came to Regional Hospice and Palliative Care (RHPC) in 2016 with the desire “to give back.” She has done just that. Last year, Ginny logged more than 500 volunteer hours at RHPC, earning the “Gold Level” President’s Volunteer Service Award. We asked her to share her Regional Hospice experience with us.
What inspired you to become a part of Regional Hospice and Palliative Care?
“After I retired from teaching elementary education, I decided to start volunteering in the community, ideally working with an older population. I did an online search for opportunities close to my home, and Regional Hospice showed up. When I walked through the doors on my first visit here, it felt like someone had called me home. Within 24-hours after I visited, I signed up to be a new volunteer.”
What is your role at RHPC?
“I work as a lobby greeter, a position that involves welcoming people to the hospice center and directing them to where they need to go or who they need to meet with. I’ve also worked on the Gala, an annual fundraising event we host in the community. I was thrilled to work on it, and it felt so satisfying to know I was supporting Regional Hospice and making a difference in their outreach efforts.”
What do you get out of volunteering?
“Volunteering gives me a sense of purpose and calm. Caring for others is something that’s always been dear to my heart.”
Is there an experience you’ve had that is especially memorable?
“My most unforgettable experiences have involved supporting patients’ families. Two really stand out in my mind. One was a teen who had a family member here. If things were rough in the patient area, he’d come out to the lobby and sit on the sofa. I’d always notice and engage him. We connected with each other, and when his loved one died, he knew I was there for him. The other was a lovely man whose wife was a patient. Every day he’d visit her in the morning and then again at night after work. He was so devoted. He’d say he always looked forward to seeing my smile when he’d arrive in the morning.”
“The environment at Regional Hospice is positive, caring and supportive.”-Ginny Strauch, Regional Hospice Volunteer
What are some lessons you’ve learned at RHPC?
“Being here has taught me to be more tolerant, compassionate and understanding. I’ve also learned to take a step back in certain situations and just be an observer.”
What would you like to share with prospective volunteers?
“If someone was considering becoming a volunteer at Regional Hospice, I’d tell them about the environment. That it’s positive, caring and supportive. I’d say, “Give Regional Hospice a try.” We are always looking for new volunteers to share their different talents with us.”
In addition to volunteering, what else are you passionate about?
“Horses! I’ve always felt a strong connection to them. At one point, I had my own horse farm, so I had a lot of them in my life. Currently I’m venturing into foals, which are incredibly delightful. Horses are a symbol of strength, a trait I value and relate to especially in relation to my time here at Regional Hospice.”