11th Hour Angels

The word covenant means “promise.”  For those of us who live and breathe the mission every day, the staff and volunteers of Covenant Hospice, it’s something we never forget.  Every time we say “Covenant Hospice,” we’re remembering that we’ve made a solemn promise to our patients and families and to our community.  We’ve promised to each and every patient and their families that we’ll be there with them on this difficult journey, holding their hand and walking alongside them every step of the way.  We’ve promised the communities that we serve that we’ll be here to serve and educate, to be a force for good and inspiration.  Every single day in my 9+ years with Covenant Hospice, I’ve lived the promise and I’ve been blessed with opportunity to work alongside staff and volunteers that have lived it with me.

Just one of the promises that we make to our patients is that no one under our care should ever have to die alone.  There is a special group of volunteers—angels, really—that helps us to keep and fulfill that covenant every single day.  Our 11th Hour Volunteer Angels have made the commitment to be there for our patients who are alone, who have no one—family or friends—at their bedside as their lives draw to an end.

Most of these 11th Hour Volunteers will tell you it’s a calling; that it’s something they feel drawn to do.  Beyond the initial 8-hour volunteer training, these volunteers attend an additional 4-hour training geared at preparing them to serve at the bedside as a calming and comforting presence at the end of life.  They work on call on weekends, drop what they’re doing to answer the phone and leap into action no matter what time of day—morning, afternoon or night.

Recently, in the Pensacola Branch, we welcomed 8 new volunteers to the ranks of the 11th Hour Angels.  They’re now trained and ready to drop everything to sit vigil at the bedside of complete strangers, simply because it’s the good and right thing to do–to hold a hand, read a prayer, sing a song and gently see our patients from this life to the next.  You might see them in the library scanning the shelves for a rainy day read, or at the gas pump fueling up for the week.  You might not even notice their wings.  The halo may escape you.  But, make no mistake, these folks are angels.

Can you see yourself working as an 11th Hour Volunteer?  To learn more about this volunteer program and others at Covenant Hospice, contact a Volunteer Manager near you today!


One Response to “11th Hour Angels”

  1. Wonderful post Keelea! The Covenant Hospice volunteers are truly amazing – thank you all

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