WELLSVILLE — The Hart Comfort House is in search for more volunteers.
Jan. 25 marks the 25th volunteer training for the Hart Comfort House. Founded in 2009, the Hart House has trained people who volunteer to care for residents, cook, clean the house, provide office assistance, routine maintenance, and any other need that arises. The four-hour training is taught by Scott Swift, RN, the executive director of the house, Dee Roeske, RN, and JoAnne White, Volunteer Coordinator.
“Over 220 people have stepped forward to provide care to residents at the house who have a terminal illness,” explained JoAnne White, volunteer coordinator. “We give them the basics on caregiving, but they bring the heart to the house. All the care is provided by volunteers in four hour shifts from 8 am to midnight every day.”
But many of the volunteers are snow birds and White says the need for volunteers increases significantly in the winter.
“The most important part of a volunteer’s job is to be there – for the resident and for their family,” said White. Volunteers work in pairs to provide care, but often the care means sitting by the bedside, sharing favorite music and stories, or chatting with family members.
“If you have said that this is the year you’re going to do more for your community and the people around you, here’s your chance,” White continued. “This is important work — helping families during their most difficult time. It’s good for them to know they are not alone.”
But the work is not all serious or scary.
“The first thing I like to do when I get to the house in the morning is fry up some bacon,” said Kim Toot, a volunteer at the Hart Comfort House. “It smells so good. And who doesn’t like bacon?”
It’s not unusual to find volunteers sharing their stories with each other and with their friends.
“I have been volunteering here since I retired,” she added. “This has been some of the most rewarding work I’ve done.”
The volunteer training takes place at 9 a.m. Jan. 25 at Grace United Church, 289 N. Main Street, Wellsville. All those who want to know more about volunteering at the Hart House are encouraged to call White at (585) 596-1045.