Someday It May Be Us
Harold and Florence Meinders, volunteers at Hospice of Pella, are Pella Regional’s 2013 Hospice Volunteers of the Year. Florence has been with hospice since the beginning. She started volunteering in 1984 and while some years she’s put in more time and some years less, she is always willing to help out when needed. Harold has volunteered alongside Florence for the past four years and enjoys doing whatever is asked of him. He was eager to help out once he had retired from Vermeer.
“I’ve always thought that hospice was such an important and needed service in our community,” shared Florence. “I had seen too many patients in the hospital that could have been at home instead if the family had a little more help. It just seemed sad when those people could have been at home close to loved ones.”
Since the start of Hospice of Pella, hundreds of patients and families have experienced the loving care and concern of Hospice of Pella staff. In 2003 the Comfort House started servicing patients and an additional way of helping patients and their families through the end of life began within the community of Pella.
The Meinders’ encourage everyone to take the hospice volunteer training class as it gives great background knowledge for daily life. “It’s such a useful learning experience. We will all need to deal with death at some point and we all can do better,” said Florence. “How often is there a death in our community? We can all do more and think about that part of life.”
Volunteers serve in many capacities within Hospice of Pella. Volunteers provide companionship for patients and relief for caregivers by letting them take a break from the bedside. They help with transportation needs, including errands and rides to and from appointments. Their role is instrumental in the care of patients and families in hospice care.
According to the couple, what keeps them volunteering is helping people through a tough time and making it a bit easier for them. “We are Christians and we seek to glorify God in all we do,” said Florence.
Harold added, “You can visit with the patients and families, support and encourage. We’re happy to be of service. Someday it may be us on the other end so we like to do what we can while we can.”