Life is … there are so many ways to finish that sentence. Life is unbelievably busy. Life is an unpredictable roller coaster. Life is undeniably precious. Each new day brings with it an opportunity to experience and celebrate life. One way to do this is through service to others.

As the volunteer manager with Hosparus Green River, I work with people who give of themselves to serve patients and families throughout Washington, Marion, Taylor, Green and Adair counties. Each volunteer’s contribution enables them to celebrate life in ways that may not otherwise be possible.

As I said, life is busy. Lack of time is the number one reason people don’t volunteer. However, you would be amazed at the sheer number of opportunities available to people with hectic schedules. You can make a huge impact in as little as a few hours. For instance, with just one hour per week you can deliver care blankets to new Hosparus patients. Or, you can participate as a server at the annual Hosparus Tea held in September. This event raises funds to support our pediatric and grief counseling programs. It also ensures that patients receive the care they need regardless of their ability to pay.

Each of us understands how truly unpredictable life can be. We see examples of this every day in our own community. Life can bring wonderful things, such as an unexpected promotion or a new baby. However, we may also face something truly devastating. Hosparus patients and families have been dealt a crushing blow – a terminal diagnosis. It is in the face of this news that the smallest act of kindness can make a world of difference.

One of our former patients was an avid reader. They devoured books like most of us devour a good cheeseburger. However, due to the patient’s disease progression they no longer had the capability to read. A generous and kind-hearted Hosparus volunteer stepped up to serve. They went to the local library to check out books and visited the patient each week to read. Something as simple as reading enabled our patient to once again tap into a precious pastime they thought was lost forever.

The impact that volunteers make on those they serve is obvious. However, the benefits of service can be huge for the volunteer as well. It can be a relaxing, energizing escape from your day-to-day routine. It will empower you to unplug and experience something greater than yourself with focus and presence. Service to others can lead to a sense of pride in yourself and your community. Ultimately, it can give you a more positive outlook on life.

Hosparus is just one of many organizations that rely on the support of volunteers. There are numerous opportunities unique to your own personal interests and passions. No matter which opportunity speaks to you, I hope that you will celebrate this busy, unpredictable, precious thing we call life through service to others.

For more information on volunteering for Hosparus, please contact Carrie Truitt at ctruitt@hosparus.org or 270.789.4247.