Mel Arnold became a Hospice of Volusia/Flagler volunteer in 1991. Since that time, he has consistently contributed over 2000 hours and 4000 miles of documented volunteer time, although it is probable his official hours far exceed what he actually reports. Arnold is a patient and families volunteer. He works with his patients and families by providing whatever he can. This includes home repairs, errands and lending a listening ear.
Arnold has had a tremendously positive effect on the families he is assigned. In hospice volunteer training, perspective volunteers are taught that the most important attribute of a hospice volunteer is to meet people where they are and to never be judgmental. He truly loves unconditionally. When he accepts a patient assignment he never questions how far he has to drive or how much time will be needed for the patient. His only concern is how he can be of service. He then sets out to support and help his family, no matter the need. Arnold realizes that the patients and families he is assigned to are strangers. He sets out to make sure they know he is sincere in his efforts by calling, visiting and keeping eyes open for areas of need.
Arnold has replaced plumbing, installed doors, pruned trees, ran hundreds of errands, and taken patients’ pets for grooming or veterinary appointments. He lets patients know that they can call him anytime day or night. One of Arnold’s most marvelous skills is his ability to listen to people and to make them feel safe, secure, and unconditionally loved. Arnold is always available to stay with a patient to give the caregiver a chance to get out and take care of him/herself. Arnold always arrives at the patient’s home with some kind of treat: fresh fruit, homemade bread, a milkshake, or the patient or caregiver’s favorite food. He even brings treats for the family pet.
Arnold is an inspiration. He is always there with a kind word, a loving gesture, a shoulder to lean on and beautiful prayer.