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A Tribute to Our Volunteers

Hospice Austin volunteers bring companionship to our patients and their loved ones. They visit and read with patients, write letters, listen to music, play cards or games, take walks, assist the patient and family with projects, and give the caregiver time to get away for short periods. They make a profound difference in a family’s life as a compassionate and calm presence who understand what they’re going through. Our volunteers are a treasured part of the Hospice Austin team.

In honor of Naitonal Volunteer Month, we asked our volunteers recently why they do this kind of work. Here are their responses.


Dan Taylor:

“My beautiful wife Nelda died 9 years ago today on April 2. She bravely fought Alzheimer’s for 12 years and was under Hospice Austin care for slightly more than a year. For me, volunteering is the most appropriate way to celebrate and honor the lives of my loved ones and friends who died. Helping someone facing major challenges to understand that they are not alone, but surrounded by folks who have been on the same path and who want to help makes me happy. As a volunteer, I get to meet and build new relationships with persons and communities I would have never experienced.”


Robin Walton:

I volunteer with Hospice Austin because I believe everyone deserves to feel respected and cared for while transitioning out of this life, regardless of who they are and how they’ve lived. Additionally, Hospice Austin helped my own family tremendously when my mom passed away back in 1999, and I remember how grateful we were for their support.


Janet Arnold:

This precious love of a woman and I got to share over a year together. A touching moment was when her daughter cropped this picture for her obituary as it was the happiest photograph she had of her mom. [Picture of patient not shown to protect her privacy.] She claimed that her mother rarely smiled but always seemed to light up during my visits. Trust me, I got twice as much joy in return. Thank you, Hospice Austin!!


Tia McCurdy:

Sharing God’s love comes in many forms, but for me it’s providing a loving and supportive presence with a family member or patient. This is where I want to be, I consider it sacred ground.



Linda Haines:

I have benefited from Hospice in so many ways over the years that I could never fully repay that “debt.”  But I try, through donations and volunteering, both of which bring me great joy and the knowledge that others are able to get the kind of caring, loving assistance that I have treasured throughout my association with Hospice Austin and with the hospice that stepped in when my parents were in their final days.


Conner Erwin:

With a servant’s heart, I’m committed to supporting others profoundly. Being there for patients and families during end-of-life is both a blessing and an honor. While many hospice volunteers are female, I aim to offer a warm, balanced masculine energy, providing comfort and safety to those transitioning. Knowing I’ve made a difference in their lives during such a difficult time is incredibly fulfilling.


Pancake and Waffles

We are Pancake and Waffles, we volunteer at Hospice Austin as servants of God. On many occasions, family members have thanked us for bringing joy into the room for themselves and patients. Both patients and family members love picking us up, holding us close and even shedding tears as we have been told that we provide a much needed emotional release. We are so thankful for this opportunity 🔆


William Mupo:

From discussing lighthouses to baseball games, each week’s conversation brought me an opportunity to learn something new and listen to the patient discuss his passions and life experiences. He appreciated being able to converse without being judged or rushed and I was grateful that the family was so inviting and gracious. My Hospice Austin experience has been incredibly rewarding and it is a honor to be present with patients and their families in their final life stages.

Chris Scherwin:

I first became a Hospice Austin Volunteer because I wanted to “return the favor” to Hospice for all they did to care for my father while he was suffering from bone cancer. A job was requiring me to be living overseas with my young family during this time, and it hurt my heart not to be able to be there to help my parents. Countless times I would hear my mother say “I don’t know what I would do without my Hospice family. I was beyond grateful for their Hospice Team, and I told myself that when I return to the USA I would “repay” them by committing to do volunteer work for my local Hospice for one year. I was going to do this for them. It’s now twenty-four + years later and I’m still proud to be a part of Hospice Austin, but I’ve come to realize, that selfishly, I do this for me. My life consistently becomes richer and fuller because of Hospice Austin and its hard working, caring professionals who serve our community.


Ben Sorrels:

My wife of 40 years contracted Lymphoma in September 2009, died on December 12, 2009. During those three months, she had chemotherapy and dialysis, to no avail. On December 5th, Her oncologist informed us that he had tried everything he could to combat the disease. He advised me to contact hospice services.

My wife was transported to Christopher House on December 6, and died six days later, on the 12th. The staff , including Dr’s, nurses, aides, chaplains and volunteers, truly lived up to the motto “Death With Dignity.” My family and I were especially blessed with the different volunteer musicians, who performed during that time. The thought came to me, that when I retire, I would like to be a volunteer musician at HACH, if they would have me. I went through Hospice Training over ten years ago, auditioned to provide music, and have been so blessed to be a small part of serving at Christopher House. It is the last place I was with the love of my life, and I think of her (Jean Sorrels) each time I pass Room #11, or read the memorial brick, which is implanted just outside.

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