Grand Rapids, Michigan, Nov. 7, 2022 – As the nation prepares to honor American heroes for their military service, Emmanuel Hospice invites community members to send messages of gratitude or join its veteran-to-veteran volunteer program to bolster support for veterans facing a life-limiting illness.
Anyone in the community who would like to send a message to a veteran who is on hospice, can either email EHinfo@EmmanuelHospice.org or mail a letter to 401 Hall St. SE, Suite 263, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 by Nov. 9. The nonprofit will hand-deliver the notes to its patients on Veterans Day, which is on Friday, Nov. 11.
“So much of what we do is really honoring the life our patients have lived and helping achieve their goals for how they want to live in the time they have left,” said Jenny Kellogg, Emmanuel’s support programs manager. “This is an important time of year to bring attention to the experiences and sacrifices of veterans and to express our gratitude for their service in meaningful ways.
“We invite the community to get involved in showing support for the individuals who have put their lives on the line for a grateful nation and now find themselves in hospice care.”
Emmanuel Hospice is also seeking veterans and active-duty service members in West Michigan to participate in its veteran-to-veteran volunteer program. Veteran-to-veteran volunteering offers an opportunity to provide companionship, swap stories, participate in military honor ceremonies and support one another by sharing the common thread of military service.
“Our veteran-to-veteran volunteer program helps create a supportive environment for veterans to feel comfortable sharing their memories,” Kellogg said. “When one veteran talks with another, they have a common language and bond that allows for a level of sharing that is truly healing.
“As an Emmanuel Hospice volunteer, you can help provide comfort and dignity to veterans who are in our care during their last chapter.”
Those who are interested may visit EmmanuelHospice.org/volunteer to learn more and register.
The volunteer program is part of Emmanuel Hospice’s year-round efforts as a We Honor Veterans partner to extend recognition to veterans and provide specialized, veteran-centric care. The nonprofit also offers recognition and pinning ceremonies, assistance navigating veteran benefits and an Honor Flight virtual reality experience, among other patient services.
Additionally, the organization provides ongoing education for both staff and community members on how to recognize and respond to the needs of veterans and their loved ones. This has included training on the identification of veteran-specific needs of patients at admission, symptoms of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, clinical interventions specific to veteran needs and understanding veterans’ benefits.
“Veterans Day is an important time to honor veterans, but we also know how important it is to show our support year-round,” Kellogg said. “Nov. 11 reminds us to seek out opportunities every day to better serve those who have served in our country’s military.”