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The "Heart" of Emmanuel Hospice

Our volunteers are the essence of the hospice philosophy of care that centers on bringing comfort, dignity and tranquility to the dying and their loved ones. As National Volunteer Week comes to a close, we would like to recognize three of our many “big hearts.” Read below as they share their journey as an Emmanuel Hospice volunteer.

Kelly Williams, MSW
My name is, Kelly, and I have been volunteering for Emmanuel Hospice for almost two years.  I’ve spent the majority of my efforts providing companionship, respite, and vigil services for patients and their families, but I am also a member of the bereavement team.  I spend personal time outdoors having bonfires or in my Kentwood home watching movies with my wonderfully supportive family members who are my husband Zack, and our two cats, Baby Boy, and Isis.  I came to volunteer for Emmanuel Hospice not only because I fully support the hospice philosophy of care, but because I felt called to care for the dying and their families at the end of life.   The thing about volunteering that brings me the most joy is the ability to provide comfort to those in need.  Support is provided with something as simple as a gentle touch, or even a smile in the midst of suffering. Volunteering for Emmanuel Hospice provides my life with a lot of meaning, and it continues to be my privilege to provide patient, family, and bereavement care.

Pat Jennings
I am a hospice volunteer and function as a companion to hospice patients.  I worked in nursing for many years in doctors offices and at Blodgett Hospital.  I have been married for 48 years, and we have 4 children and 12 grandchildren. I have been a hospice volunteer for one year.
I have a long history of volunteering and Sr. Gabrielle at St Ann’s Home called me over a year ago and invited me to join the team. I started in training in the next class. I love being a hospice volunteer and have met so many wonderful people, and I love listening to their stories.  I believe I get much more than I give.

Deb Ferguson
I have been a volunteer with Emmanual Hospice for less than a year, but this year will mark 42 years in the health care field as a medical assistant and nurse. My greatest joys are my sons Sean and Erik who along with their friends keep me young!
As a former hospice nurse, I always wanted to volunteer someday and when Emmanual Hospice evolved I knew it was time to serve. The headquarters, which is at St. Anne’s Home, is near and dear to my heart. How can you say no to Sr. Gabriela?
I find joy in hospice volunteer service, as it is an honor to walk with patients and their loved ones in the circle of life – providing compassion, support and a more gentle way of providing services. I remain grounded in how precious life is each time I speak with a patient or loved one in our care.