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Pay It Forward: Volunteers Make Ohio Hospice of Dayton Work

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DAYTON– Nobody wants to face the heartache of making the decision to have a loved on enter hospice. However, our community has countless kind and caring people helping make that transition as comfortable as possible.

Ohio Hospice of Dayton services the Montgomery County and all of the surrounding counties. They provide at home or in-facility end-of-life care for patients across the Miami Valley.

However, none of this would be possible if nearly 750 volunteers did not contribute their valuable time to helping the patients.

“…these people are our neighbors, who have busy lives, selflessly giving their own time to those who need it the most.” said Maureen Swarts, Ohio Hospice of Dayton’s Manager of Volunteer Services.

Many of the volunteers come in from 2 to 4 hours a week, making home visits, and caring for the patients who live in the facility. Some donate up to 20 hours a week.

These range from retirees, to teenagers, to those who work full-time jobs on top of their hospice service.

Frances Bankston, a retired teacher has been volunteering at Ohio Hospice of Dayton for ten years. She said that she wanted to do something to give back to the community, and that helping in hospice was a perfect fit.

“The feeling that I’ve helped someone…” said Bankston of what drives her to come back every week. “…so that they have someone to talk to.”

Another volunteer, retired nurse Meg Doherty, who gives four hours per week, manages the reception desk.

“I take home a lot more than I bring. It’s a good feeling just to be able to help.” Said Doherty.

These two women combined with the other volunteers donated 68,000 hours last year, and 47,000 hours through mid-October 2016. On top of Dayton’s finest human helpers, about 40 dogs are part of the animal assisted animal therapy team.

“It is really a family here. I’ve never worked in an organization like this.” said Maureen Swarts. “It’s a special place.”

Ohio Hospice of Dayton’s dedication to its patients and the volunteers that make it all happen are why they are deserving of Elk & Elk’s Pay if Forward award.

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