BBH Employees Compete to Wow Volunteers with Gift Baskets
- By: Rebeccah Lutz
Every year during Volunteer Appreciation Month, Big Bend Hospice employees create gift baskets to recognize and thank our volunteers, and these baskets are extraordinary.
Our employees go to extremes to pamper and appreciate volunteers because we know we couldn’t offer the same level of compassionate care without them.
Each BBH department fills a basket with a variety of specialty items and gift cards for restaurants, spas, limo rides and outdoor experiences – even cash. Some of the baskets are so large that the volunteers need assistance carrying them to their cars. This year’s baskets included a Yeti cooler, a bread maker, wine and movie themed experiences and a fire pit filled with outdoor items.
The competition is fierce with each department vying to create the basket that wins top basket by a vote of BBH employees and the basket that is chosen first during a raffle at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. We appreciate our volunteers every day but designate a special time to recognize them in April.
Thanks to our employees’ efforts and generous community support, we raffled 20 baskets for volunteers to take home this year.
Bragging rights are at stake for our teams who try to outdo each other with the best basket. It’s good fun with an important purpose – honoring our volunteers who are truly the heart of Hospice.
The first-place basket, according to employee votes, (you can’t vote for your own basket) was the Wakulla/ Franklin Team and its “Outdoor Adventure” basket, a fire pit filled with grilling and picnic items and accompanied by camping chairs and a welcome mat. Volunteer Paul Raynes, who serves Veterans as part of our Valor Team, took home this amazing basket[Rl2] .
The Admissions/ Referral Department won bragging rights for the first basket chosen by a volunteer during the raffle. The team’s “Kitchen Gadget Extravaganza” was a tower filled with cooking utensils and gadgets. Lisa Lazarus Brown, who volunteers in Pet Therapy with her bird, Rose, took home this special basket.
Big Bend Hospice relies on more than 300 volunteers who contribute to our mission of inspiring hope for families experiencing serious illness and grief. All volunteers are trained and work alongside our staff in a variety of roles.
If you’d like to inspire hope for Hospice patients and families, take a look at some of the possible volunteer roles below and contact the Volunteer Department at 850-878-5310 or visit https://www.bigbendhospice.org/volunteer.
- Patient/Family Volunteer: Provide companionship, relieve caregivers so that they can get some time away, provide transportation and run errands, meal preparation and other important support in the patients’ home, assisted living facility, nursing home or Hospice House.
- Hospice House Volunteer: Serve as a greeter and help orient visitors, assist House staff, arrange flowers, work in the garden and much more.
- Vigil Volunteer: Sit with patients and/or families during the final hours of life.
- Valor Volunteer: Join our team of military veteran and veteran supportive volunteers that give honor to veteran patients through a ceremony that honors the patients’ military service to our nation.
- Caring Quilter: Do you like to quilt? Join a group of local quilters that create lap quilts for individual Big Bend Hospice patients.
- Volunteer Chaplain: Congregational leaders and ministerial professionals can join our volunteer team and provide spiritual support to patients and families.
- Voices of the Heart Volunteer: Help patients’ document memories and stories as a legacy for their loved ones through various media.
- Comfort Callers: Take time out of your schedule to phone patients, engage them in conversation or inquire about their needs.
- Caring Tree Volunteer: Assist with monthly grief support for children and teens.
- Camp Volunteer: Assist with the one-day camps for children and teens.
- Community Education Volunteer: Represent Big Bend Hospice at health fairs and community events.
- Administrative Volunteer: Perform important duties such as data entry, filing, copying and mailings.
- Special Event Volunteer: Staff the Trees of Remembrance and assist with other fund raising and special events.
- Advisory Councilmember: Meet regularly to advise Big Bend Hospice on County issues and help raise awareness of hospice services in their community.