A Volunteer's Reward
As a volunteer at The Residence of Arbor Hospice, I do whatever I can to bring comfort to the residents and their families, without expectation of compensation of any kind. I cannot and will not accept any gift of merchandise or money. My "reward" comes in the form of a few words of feedback now and then from a relative or friend, who expresses simple thanks for whatever assistance I was able to provide to the patient or family.
One example of such compensation will explain what I mean. There was a resident who had lived past the century mark, much older than the usual elderly, but with a clear mind and a ready wit that endeared her to staff and volunteers alike. She was with us for several months, and I became well acquainted with her.
Among the visitors who called on her was someone from her church who offered spiritual counseling. If I happened to be present when the person arrived, I would leave the two of them to their private conversations. After a few weeks, I learned that the lady was not truly happy with that particular visitor. So, when the next visit occurred, I remained with the patient. The visitor took it well enough, and, in chatting with the resident, mention was made of the presence of "a volunteer." At this point, the lady spoke up, "He's not just a volunteer," she said. "He is my friend."
I can never ask for a more desirable reward.