“I would pass along any concerns to the appropriate staff and provide them with something to do to pass the time,” Debbie said. “I also gave Pinkie the Puppets to the kids and provided any supplies families might need, such as linens and sundry items.”
When she needed greater flexibility, the volunteer office suggested she become a volunteer in Akron Children’s Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center.
Since 2008, Debbie has been coming to the center every week to assist with clerical tasks such as sending faxes, filing and making folders for new patients. A typical shift is 3½ to 4 hours.
“Because I have arthritis, I’m able to help with more sedentary tasks,” Debbie said.
Using volunteers to provide clerical support allows the center to save resources and allocate more funds to programs and services that directly benefit patients.
For Debbie, it provides a nice break to her weekly routine, which includes working part-time as a sales associate for a major retailer.
“As a volunteer, you get to see the amazing work the palliative care staff does every day,” she said. “Getting to know them and seeing first-hand how they are making a difference in the lives of their patients is very gratifying.”
Debbie also enjoys being able to support these efforts by pitching in with day-to-day tasks that help keep the office running smoothly.
“For those who are considering becoming a palliative care volunteer, I encourage them to try it,” Debbie said. “The staff has a difficult job that can be emotionally draining, but knowing that you’re helping them make a difference is very rewarding.”
As part of our year-long anniversary celebration, we’re telling the story of Akron Children’s through the eyes of past and present employees, doctors, donors, volunteers and patient families. We encourage you to share your own memories and stories about us.