A call for more volunteers is going out in Northern Michigan to help those dealing with the end of life.
Kathy Lietaert is the volunteer program manager of the North Region. She said we should be apprehensive about volunteering. It can be a good experience.
“If you enjoy people, you could do this. Don’t be afraid because somebody is dying. We can learn so much from the dying. I would say give it a try,” said Lietaert.
Hospice of Michigan is looking for volunteers in the Cadillac area but they are always looking for volunteers at their other branches too. They have locations in Cadillac, Traverse City, Charlevoix, Gaylord, and Alpena.
Hospice is looking for volunteers in areas including companionship, music, photography and even veterans. Veteran volunteers are matched up with other veterans who are in their final stages of life.
Marsha Barnheart is an air force veteran. She volunteers her time recording vets’ stories for family as private keepsakes and helps with pinning ceremonies. She said working with vets is its own reward.
“Anybody can do this work if they have a commitment to it. Yes, it wears on you kind of, but it also feeds you emotionally and sustains you spiritually,” said Barnheart.
Requirements to volunteer include filling out an application, passing a background check, and completing the orientation process. To learn more about Hospice of Michigan and how to become a volunteer, click here.