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Deb Kluck, Fargo, Published April 23 2013

Letter: Show thanks to volunteers

This week, April 21-27, is National Volunteer Week. Hospice of the Red River Valley would like to express its deepest thanks to those who so generously give their time, energy and spirit.

Reflecting on the selfless acts and attitudes I witness each day at Hospice of the Red River Valley, I become speechless and overcome with gratitude.

Our hospice volunteers enable us to carry out our mission of providing compassionate end-of-life care. We simply could not provide our depth of services without them. With Hospice of the Red River Valley offices in Fargo, Grand Forks, Mayville, Valley City and Lisbon, N.D., and Thief River Falls and Detroit Lakes, Minn., volunteers serve our entire service area – all 29 counties.

In 2012, more than 400 hospice volunteers recorded 15,965 hours of time and drove nearly 49,000 miles to share their time and talents with individuals and families facing life’s final journey. What do these generous people do? They visit with patients, read the newspaper, play card games, share coffee and sit at patients’ bedsides. We have volunteer massage therapists, pet therapists and hairstylists who share their expertise to make people more comfortable. Our volunteers deliver supplies and assist staff in our offices. They also work all sorts of jobs at our resale store, Heirlooms.

Our hospice volunteers are among the most compassionate people I have ever met. We thank our volunteers who stand ready to provide compassionate services to our communities. On behalf of Hospice of the Red River Valley, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Kluck is manager of clinical development/volunteer services, Hospice of the Red River Valley.