Teen Volunteer Offers Cookies and Comfort to Hospice Patients
Teenagers in our culture are (in)famous for their feeling of invincibility and immortality,which means they tend to shy away from the end-of-life issues faced by hospice patients and their families every day. However, even as a middle school student, Spenser Harless has embraced these same patients and their families, and now serves as a valuable member of the family support team at Hospice & Palliative CareCenter’s Hospice Home. He began his service as a member of the Cookie and Craft Club, baking homemade cookies and making personalized arts and crafts for patients, families, and bereavement clients. Because of his dedication, Hospice “promoted” Spenser to a general direct support volunteer, visiting patients and families to provide companionship, friendship, and anything else needed to make them feel comfortable and loved. This meant that Spenser needed to make the commitment to undergo the 12 hours of training and mentorship required, which he did with gusto. Rarely do teenagers have the maturity and dedication needed to make this commitment, and, thus, Spenser is one of the youngest members of the family support volunteer team.