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Michigan Hospice Volunteer Coordinators Association

Newsletter What’s Inside:

Whew! Happy summer!!!!!! I hope that you all are faring well in the heat and humidity! I like to think of it as answered prayer…….from February. Whatever your summer activities have been, I hope that they have left you refreshed and renewed. Please be sure to mark your calendars for the Volunteer Symposium which will be held October 7-9th (Sunday – Tuesday) at Shanty Creek, where we will again enjoy the beautiful Fall colors. This year’s symposium will have a very patriotic flare as we focus on veteran programs and patients (as well as volunteers) who have served our country. You will be receiving additional information as the date approaches.

Page 1…………... President’s Corner Page 2 ……….……… Vet to Vet Vol. Program Page 2 ……………..…....Meet Becca! Page 3………Vision of the Volunteer Page 3…….…..MHVCA Retreat 2013 Page 4 ………. Regional Mtg Schedule Page 4 …….….…Job Announcements

There are several open board positions for the 2012-2013 year. If you are interested in representing our ranks in an elected board position, please contact Candy Briney or myself. Enjoy your summer. Be safe. Have fun. Make every minute count. Regards,


The MHVCA Newsletter is released quarterly sponsored by the Michigan Hospice Volunteer Coordinators Association. To submit an article to this publication, send your submissions to

Veteran to Veteran Volunteer Program At the 2012 Volunteer Symposium there will be a focus on supporting veterans. Many hospices are getting qualified to be a partner in the We Honor Veterans program. Go to page 2 to read more about establishing your own Veteran to Veteran Volunteer Program Page 1

To contact MHVCA: MHVCA c/o Deb Chesney Hospice of Michigan 3995 Fashion Square Blvd. Saginaw, Michigan 48603 Find MHVCA Online:

August-September Issue 2012 ● Michigan Hospice Volunteer Coordinators Association

Veteran to Veteran Volunteer Program

Many community hospice providers have implemented an innovative model for serving Veterans at the end of life - the Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Program. The Veteran-toVeteran Volunteer Program aims to pair recruited Veteran Volunteers with hospice patients who have been identified as Veterans. Once paired with hospice patients who also have military experience, Veteran Volunteers have the unique ability to relate and connect with each patient thereby creating an environment where life review and healing may occur. Establishing a Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Program is also a criterion for hospices accomplishing We Honor Veterans Partner Level Three. What is the importance of Veteran Volunteers?  Volunteers are essential to the delivery of quality hospice care.  Veterans are a part of a distinct culture with their own common language and experience.  When Veterans interact, their common language and experience can form a strong relational bond.  The camaraderie created between Veterans has proven to be supportive for all involved. Where can Veteran Volunteers be recruited?  Find out who are Veterans in your existing volunteer pool.  Ask your staff if they know any Veterans who would be interested in volunteering.  Contact Veteran Service Organizations, VA facilities and State Veterans Homes for potential volunteers.  Use internet and print media to spread the word about recruitment.

How should Veteran Volunteers be trained?  Verify Veteran status by asking about their branch of service, rank, service dates and combat experience.  Follow organizational policies for training nonVeteran hospice volunteers.  With the assistance of professional staff screen for possible difficulties with PTSD.  Accompany Veteran Volunteers on their initial visits with terminally ill Veterans and allow for debriefing. What activities can Veteran Volunteers do?  Assist Veterans in reminiscing/telling life stories.  Educate and assist patients in receiving Veteran benefits.  Take part in pinning ceremonies or distribute certificates for Veterans Day and other recognition events.  Assist in replacing lost medals.  Provide transportation (based on organizational

policy). Supporting Veteran Volunteers  Include Veteran Volunteers in interdisciplinary team meetings.  Recognize and thank Veteran Volunteers in person, and through newsletters and email postings.  Provide continuing education with Veteran-specific content to staff and volunteers.  Continue to monitor Veteran Volunteers to assess negative reactions.

For more information, visit or contact

My name is Becca Benjamin and I started working for Hospice of Holland as the Volunteer Coordinator and Social Worker in December 2011. I graduated from Grand Valley State University with my masters in Social Work and Public Administration in April of 2011. Before coming to Hospice of Holland I was the program manager at a nonprofit that assisted people with disabilities to live independently and the Hope Lodge Coordinator for the American Cancer Society. I am on the planning committee for the upcoming Volunteer Symposium and am enjoying meeting everyone and hearing all of the great things they are doing in their organization. My husband and I bought our first house last August in Allendale and are enjoying making it our own. I like to read, play volleyball and do random crafts in my free time. I am the aunt to 4 nephews and one niece and try to spend as much time with them as I can. Page 2

August-September Issue 2012 ● Michigan Hospice Volunteer Coordinators Association


Cater to the Vision of the Volunteer written by Crystal Hickerson

Michigan Hospice Volunteer Coordinator’s Association is a professional organization committed to the advancement and development of effective volunteer service administration in hospice programs.

How do you cater to the vision of the volunteer? Here are few key steps:

BOARD MEMBERS Ruth Charlebois President Candy Sue Briney Vice President Becca Benjamin (interim) Secretary Deb Chesney Treasurer MHPCO Representatives Teri Schmitchen MHPCO Representative Sherry Wagenknecht MHPCO Representative Regional Representatives: Mary Jo DuVall Region 1 Heather O’Brien Region 2 Marcia Good Region 3 OPEN Region 4 Paul Ikonen Region 5 OPEN Region 6 Teri Schmitchen LISTSERVE Administrator Crystal Hickerson Newsletter Editor MHVCA Site Webmaster To become a member or renew your membership, please contact Deb Chesney at

Only $25/year Page 3

1. Become a perceptive interviewer: Listen to what the volunteer has to say about themselves and move away from the standard who are you questions and move more into the probing open ended questions that requires the volunteer to share their true story of what brought them to your door. 2. Altruism is not always the norm: Don’t assume that the person sitting in front of you to volunteer is there because of a cause. Some people volunteer for specific, “what can I gain” motives. If this type of motivation does not fit with your organization feel free to tell them to try another agency that may not require a lot of vested time or commitment or gear them to a one time only event that you have periodically throughout the year. 3. Create clear volunteer job descriptions: Matching the right volunteer to the right assignment can be tricky. But if you present the new volunteer with clear and concise descriptions of what they will be doing and what the job specifically entails, then they can make an honest decision about what they can and cannot do.

4. Keep Communication Open: Touch base with the volunteer periodically and personally throughout their volunteer service and make sure the vision they came in with still exists. Having volunteer staff meetings are great but you should also set aside time to talk with each volunteer on a one on one basis to see how things are going with them and if things are working out the way they would like. A volunteer may not pick up the phone and tell you this, they may simply leave and you have lost a good volunteer who just needed to take on other types of volunteer roles. 5. Manage Your Time: This is always a given but it takes time to do these extra personal things to make sure you are connecting with each of your volunteers. If you only have 15 volunteers to follow this may be easy but most volunteer administrators have a roster of 50 to 200 or more volunteers to keep track of therefore a due diligence process has to created and implemented. Remember the key is doing the best job you can. With good processes in place you can assure that your volunteer has the experience that they signed up to have. Excerpt from the article “Why Volunteers Walk Through the Door.” For more articles go to:

Save the Date MHVCA Spring Retreat 2013 May 9th & 10th Higgins Lake, MI 2013 MHPCO Annual Conference April 18-20, 2013 DoubleTree Hilton Riverfront Hotel Bay City, MI August-September Issue 2012 ● Michigan Hospice Volunteer Coordinators Association

2012 Regional Meeting Schedule: Region 2: All meetings are 10am-12 noon with optional lunch “out” to follow. September 17, 2012 – Petoskey, Hospice of Little Traverse Bay, Hostess: Heather O’Brien December 3, 2012 – Traverse City, Munson Hospice, Hostess: Judy Goodrich

Region 5: All meetings are 11am-12 noon with optional lunch “out” to follow. August 21st, 2012 – (Location TBA)

Don’t Look Down! Let Your Career Soar!

Job Openings: Director, Volunteer Services – FT Grand Blanc, MI Genesys Reg. Med Cnt Special Events Coordinator – FT Kentwood, MI JDRF Business Development Coordinator – FT Grand Val S. Univ., Allendale, MI Volunteer Coordinator – FT, Residential Hospice, Troy, MI

Online Resources: VolunteerMatch.Org E-Recruitment Website

Auditions Coordinator FT – Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor E-Recruiting Website

The National Conference on Volunteering and Service is pleased to announce that the 2013 Conference will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. Make plans to join us June 2013

VolunteerSolutions.Org E-Recruitment Website Hands On Network E-Recruitment Website E-Recruitment Website

Idea E-Recruitment Website Smart E-Recruitment Website for Professional Volunteers Energize Resources for Volunteer Management Volunteer Resources for Volunteer Management Resources for Volunteer Management Volunteer Resources for Volunteer Management Points of Light Foundation Resources for Volunteer Management

Submit to this Quarterly Newsletter:     

Do you have an article to share? Job Announcement? Photos of Event? Inspirational Story of a Volunteer? Tips for your colleagues?

Editor’s Notes . . .

Submission Guidelines:  All submissions must be complete and include full contact information.  Photos should be digital and attached to submission  Submit to Crystal Hickerson at crhicker@hom.og

MHVCA Newsletter is published quarterly. Brief appropriate articles are welcomed and will be considered space permitting. Please e-mail articles and or comments to the editor at EDITOR Crystal Hickerson Find additional MHVCA online resources under community groups at

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August-September Issue 2012 ● Michigan Hospice Volunteer Coordinators Association

MHVCA August/September 2012  

MHVCA August/September 2012

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