Hospice seeking volunteers to help at lives final stages

Sue Guinn Legg • Feb 20, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Mountain States Hospice is in need of some special volunteers — compassionate and caring individuals willing to extend their friendship to terminally ill patients as they live out the final stages of their lives.Anna Crawford, a registered nurse who serves as volunteer and admission coordinator for Mountain States Hospice, said the program has an average of 62 patients and its need for volunteers is greatly increasing.Volunteers of all ages, from teenagers to retirees are welcome in the program. A medical background is required and 12 to 16 hours of training is provided.The hospice volunteers’ most vital duties include spending time with the patients and providing short periods of rest and respite for their family members. According to Crawford, the focus is on quality of life for both the patient and family, recognizing that end of life is an important part of living and affirming life while neither hastening nor postponing death.“It’s such a wonderful program. This helps the patient and is also very rewarding to the volunteer,” she said.A training session for hospice volunteers will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 20-21 at the Mountain States Hospice office at 101 Med Tech Park. Those who wish to take part in the training are asked to register by March 13.Crawford encouraged anyone interested in learning more about the program to call her at 431-6146 or email CrawfordAC@msha.com.Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Tri-Cities is inviting area bowlers and bowling teams to mark their calendars and register now for the 2014 Bowl For Kids’ Sake tournament coming up in April.Played out at bowling alleys in each of the Tri-Cities, Bowl for Kids Sake is the largest fundrasing and awareness event of the year for the local Big Brothers Big Sisters youth-mentoring organization. Bowling skills are not required and everyone can help.Proceeds from the tournament help the local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization recruit and match adult volunteers with area children in special need of a stable relationships with adult role models.By joining forces with parents, guardians, schools, area businesses and other community partners, the program pairs children who are facing adversity with carefully screened adult volunteers who are monitored and supported by the program as they provide one-on-one mentoring and build safe, enduring relationships with the child.The measurable outcomes include improved academic success, confidence, personal relationships, goal setting and avoidance of risky behavior by the children Big Brothers Big Sisters serves.Last year, the program helped 130 children in the Tri-Cities region. Its goal is to add an additional 30 children to that number this year and the Bowl for Kids Sake tournament will play a major role in its ability to meet that goal.The tournament will be held from 6-9 p.m. April 10 at Belmont Lanes in Bristol, 6-9 p.m. April 11 at Holiday Lanes in Johnson City and 5-9 p.m. April 12 at Warpath Lanes in Kingsport.Those who wish to help are invited to form a team of two to four people, choose a tournament date and location and register for a one-hour time slot online at www.bowlforkidstoday.org. The registration fee is a minimum donation of $25 per bowler and includes shoes, lanes, door prizes, food, fun and the opportunity to make a lasting difference in the life of a child. Individual bowlers are also welcome and bowling skills are not required.More information about Bowl for Kids Sake and the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program can be found online at www.Facebook.com/TricitIesbbbs or Twitter.com/Bbbstricities.If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605 1717 or 929-3111, ext. 335.

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