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Celebrating CVHHH’s Volunteers

We love our volunteers!

Volunteers are an integral part of the CVHHH family and offer their time, energy, and creativity to support programs across the organization.

CVHHH’s Board Members serve in a volunteer capacity. Volunteers also work in CVHHH’s headquarters on Granger Road in Barre and provide a range of services to patients and families enrolled in our hospice program. They also help at public flu clinics and fundraising events and as members of planning committees.

Volunteers can offer as little or as much time as they want, and everyone takes their own unique path to CVHHH. We recently connected with five Central Vermonters to learn why they support CVHHH as volunteers.

Kathy Preis, CVHHH Hospice Volunteer

Kathy Preis is retired from a career at National Life as a bookkeeper. She lives in Montpelier and is active in her church and as a volunteer doing taxes for AARP clients. Kathy’s journey to CVHHH came through two encounters with hospice care, one for her father and one for a dear friend.

The support Kathy provides is as valuable to the family members of patients as to the patient. Kathy delivers durable medical equipment and medications, which saves families from having to run around. She also provides respite, so a person’s caregivers can take much-needed time for themselves. “It allows people to be with their loved ones at a very important time.”

Deb Kerin, CVHHH Board Member

Deb Kerin is Vice President of Community Banking at Northfield Savings Bank and one of CVHHH’s 13 volunteer board members. CVHHH’s Board works in conjunction with our CEO, Sandy Rousse, to determine the agency mission and goals, set agency standards, controls and policies, and to ensure that all programs, activities, and operations at CVHHH adhere to these policies.

Deb joined CVHHH’s board when a spot held by her Northfield Savings Bank colleague opened up. Deb’s mother and husband received support at home from CVHHH. “I was very pleased with everything they did. The clinicians gave the best service.”

Deb wants more people to know what CVHHH does and why it matters that people have the option to receive care at home. “Unless you’ve used CVHHH, you don’t realize how much they do. If they can’t do something for you, they will find a way to help.”

Sara Baker, CVHHH Hospice Volunteer

Sara has devoted her life and career to helping others. Sara is a UVM-certified End-of-Life Doula, a public school special educator, and she is about to enroll in a 10-week interfaith chaplaincy internship. Sara came to hospice volunteering after several significant deaths in her family and friend circle. She completed CVHHH’s hospice volunteering course during the pandemic.

“What many people don’t realize is that you get to know people in a very truthy way at the end of their life. You’re coming at a time when pretenses can drop,” says Sara. “The work is a lot like what I do as a special educator in that I come along people where they are and stand beside them. I am not leading. I’m not behind. I’m a companion. A lot of the work is letting people know that what they are feeling is normal.”

Sara recognizes that there is a perception that hospice volunteering is so overly generous. While it is a valuable community service, Sara also gets a lot from the work. “You really do get this sense of believing in the good in the world.”

Larry Abrams, CVHHH Event Volunteer

About 10 years ago, Larry, who lives in Waterbury, was invited to play in CVHHH’s annual Hospice Memorial Golf Tournament. Larry admits that at the time he did not know CVHHH existed. He took a leap and became a volunteer, helping out at events and with fundraising. Immediately, Larry noticed the positive, contagious energy of the volunteers.

Why does Larry stick with his CVHHH volunteering? “In my own life with family and friends, I’ve witnessed a person’s entire quality of life improve through their collaboration with home health.”

Eric Quintin, CVHHH Board Member

Eric learned about CVHHH when his wife received support at home after a knee replacement. One of his wife’s doctors gave CVHHH’s CEO Sandy Rousse Eric’s number, and Eric joined the Board. Currently, he is on the Board of Directors and the quality and fundraising committees.

Eric believes in the mandate and mission of CVHHH. “The organization is integral to the community. It is the main reason a person does not return to the hospital after being discharged and can have a productive life,” he says. Eric is the Director of Case Management for Washington County Mental Health Services (where he also volunteer coaches a WCMHS volleyball team), and many of his clients receive care from CVHHH. “CVHHH is crucial to maintaining stability in the community and to helping people have functionality and independence and experience a higher quality of life.”

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