We welcome your interest in our Volunteer Program at HSL Hospice Care. Hospice volunteers are the heart of a hospice program and Bikkur Holim (visiting the sick) is among the highest of Mitzvot. Hospice places extraordinary value on the selfless sharing of time, energy, and compassion by individuals for others at their most vulnerable time of life. This is a deeply spiritual experience.
Hospice volunteers provide assistance to patients and family caregivers. Tasks may vary from sitting quietly with the patient or engaging in conversation, reading aloud, letter writing, reminiscing, and playing an instrument. Just being present with a patient is a vital and welcome task. A volunteer’s presence may provide much needed respite periods for the caregiver to take care of themselves, their home, and other members of their family. You might have the occasion to prepare a light meal, provide transportation, or take care of some light shopping. Additionally, there may be times the Hospice Care office will need help for administrative tasks, such as answering phones, mailings, or preparing for an event.
Acceptance to the program requires a written application, interview, reference checks, and successful completion of a 20-hour training program. This training will qualify you to competently provide services following the standards of Medicare and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, as well as our own unique focus on Jewish values and practices. Training will be conducted in groups over several weeks.
Volunteers are asked to provide at minimum 2 hours of service each week. Most often, volunteers visit one time weekly with a patient. Timing of the visits is flexible and is determined by the mutual needs of the patient, family, and your personal schedule. Documentation of visits and tracking time spent is required of all volunteers.
How to Apply
Dowload the HSL Hospice Care Volunteer Application, fill it out and email to Sara Smolover, Volunteer Coordinator at Sarasmolover@hsl.harvard.edu
Our Volunteer Coordinator is responsible to recruit, train, assign, and support our volunteers. The Volunteer Coordinator will be your sounding board for all concerns as they relate to the inevitable difficult emotions that arise with this work. Continuing education and training opportunities will be offered to meet the needs of volunteers. Regularly scheduled Volunteer Gatherings will be held to allow for sharing of experiences and ideas.
Sara Smolover, Volunteer Coordinator