After developing policies and procedures and conducting additional volunteer training, the Kitchen Volunteer Program at the Hospice of Volusia/Flagler became a reality. The volunteers have been serving Hospice of Volusia/Flagler for two years and log in an average of 500 hours of service per month.
Service is their motto as well as their goal. During fiscal 1998, 44 kitchen volunteers logged in an access of 6055 hours. They surpassed those hours in 1999 and gave more than 6,200 hours of service to the Hospice.
In the fall of 1997, a small group of volunteers approached the volunteer coordinator. They felt that they could recruit additional volunteers and take complete responsibility for the patient related dietary service at the Hospice. These volunteers developed a budget, recruited a volunteer to do grocery shopping twice and week, and learned to puree, garnish and present an appealing meal tray. They set high standards for themselves and are still exceeding those standards today.
The kitchen volunteers received compliments from the family members of the patients and the family members. They prepared many special anniversary and birthday dinners. When one of the patients has a sudden craving for any special food, the volunteers do whatever is necessary to meet that request. The volunteers work together to bring the highest level of quality to one area that the patient and family can continue to control as long as they desire.
They made a commitment to improve the quality of the meals being served and to lighten the workload of the clinical staff. The volunteers exemplify a special kind of caring that Hospice of Volusia/Flagler represents. Daily, they prepare homemade soups and desserts to please the patients.
Most of the Kitchen Volunteers are involved in other service activities including Meal On Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, Council on Aging, Volusia County Library and Halifax Hospital. Through their service, the volunteers have a new respect for the power of people working together to achieve a common goal. They realized that volunteers can and will accept as much responsibility as paid staff is willing to give them. During its two years of existence, the group has saved the Hospice of Volusia/Flagler over $100,000 in payroll expenses.
It is common to have volunteer participation in dietary departments. However, it is unprecedented for volunteers to be entirely responsible for the operation of the dietary department. The Kitchen Volunteers at Hospice of Volusia/Flagler take great pride in their work and are very proud to be of service to their fellow man.