Brittany Wilson, a sophomore at DeLand High School, has volunteered in many areas of hospice care. As an eleven year old, she began her volunteer work in the hospice office by helping with large mailings, filing and trying to keep up with the shredding of confidential patient documents. At the age of twelve she began working in the Hospice Care Center patient kitchen preparing and serving patient meals. As she became more confident she began visiting with patients, delivering their meals and offering her assistance to them in any way she could. Brittany continued her work in the Care Center during school breaks and on the weekend.
After becoming a licensed driver she decided that she would like to become a home patient volunteer. The first assignment she accepted was to mentor and support a twelve-year-old girl whose grandmother guardian was terminally ill. Her duties included being a friend, taking her to doctor appointments, taking her grocery shopping and being available to listen and support the child as she dealt with the impending death of her beloved grandmother. Brittany gave up much of her Christmas holiday from school to spend time and support the patient and her granddaughter in any way she could.
Brittany’s latest volunteer work has been working with a terminally ill patient in a local nursing home. This patient had begun to isolate herself from others and repeatedly refused visits from volunteers and staff members. After hearing her mother talk about this particular patient Brittany had an idea. She told her mother about an article she read concerning pet therapy for people who were sick, isolated or homebound. Brittany wondered if maybe she could try to connect with the patient by taking her three-year-old dog to visit. At the care-planning meeting, the team decided it was worth a try. Brittany took her dog in to visit the patient and the patient responded positively. Brittany has continued to take her pet in once or twice a week, even enlisting the help of her mother. Brittany is a member of the Stetson Children’s Choir and recently traveled to North Carolina for a performance. Brittany asked her mother to take Hannah in to see the patient in her absence. The patient lights up when Brittany and Hannah walk in her room. Brittany and the patient are developing a warm and loving relationship and the patient’s state of mind had improved dramatically.
Brittany has been an integral part of the holiday projects at Hospice of Volusia/Flagler for the past four years. She has wrapped and decorated the holiday dinner boxes that the volunteer service department presents to hospice patients at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Brittany has spent hours helping other volunteers prepare the homemade holiday food and has also delivered the gifts, with the assistance of her mom, to our hospice patients.
Brittany is a member of Key Club and has been a member of the Stetson Children’s Choir since 1996. She has also volunteers as a member of Teen Court in Volusia County. She is a bright, kind, and compassionate woman who has definitely grasped the volunteer spirit and made a positive contribution in the lives of many.