When people are looking for volunteer projects, they don’t usually consider caring for an AIDS patient or watching television with someone who’s dying of cancer. However, that’s exactly the kind of task that Hospice of the Chesapeake volunteer June Young chose to do when she was searching for a rewarding volunteer opportunity.
After June received training from Hospice of the Chesapeake as a patient care volunteer, she was assigned to care for a 52 year old man with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. Although the patient was unable to speak, he enjoyed having June read and pray with him and looked forward to her visits because they were comforting and helped ease his fears. The relationship wasn’t one sided, however. Although this patient was eventually discharged (as patients do graduate from hospice care), June has continued to be a shining star and comfort in the lives of many terminally ill persons throughout Prince George’s County who are currently living with a variety of illnesses ranging from HIV, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon and lung cancers to name a few. She has also been available at a moment’s notice to sit with patients who are in their last hours and minutes of life, often holding their hand, singing a soothing song or a prayer to comfort them. June has truly made an impact in the lives of the patients she has served by helping individuals live out their last days to the fullest while fulfilling her calling as a Hospice Volunteer. As June so eloquently stated, “Being involved with Hospice is not depressing, it’s actually a calling from God sending me to be with His angels”.
In addition to working full time at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and volunteering with Hospice of the Chesapeake; June also volunteers at the Church of the Epiphany and the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and continues to play an instrumental role in sharing her experiences with prospective hospice volunteers in and around Prince George’s County.
June is truly a volunteer who comes to Hospice of the Chesapeake with an open mind and a big heart for giving back to the community.
June provides support to Hospice of the Chesapeake patients through weekly visits in addition to making telephone calls to bereaved family members following the loss of their loved one. June has made an impact in the lives of Hospice of the Chesapeake patients as she has helped individuals live out their last days to the fullest while fulfilling her calling as a Hospice Volunteer. June checks to make sure that families are coping adequately and appropriately with the death, and let them know that bereavement services are available to them. June brings a quiet compassion and dignity to the position—she has offered prayer to distraught family members and a kind voice at the end of the telephone line to all with which she contacts.