Mansfield, OH,
18:20 PM

MNJ: Need For Hospice Volunteers

30-Year Volunteer Calls Work "A Blessing"

Volunteers. There are so many out there who help organizations. And for OhioHealth, and the Hospice programs, volunteers make such a major difference for families and patients.

In Mansfield, there is a tremendous need for new volunteers to join the team.

Shirley Barry has been a volunteer with Mansfield Hospice for more than 30 years. One of her regular visits in the more recent months has been to Mary Frisbee who lives in an assisted living facility in the Mansfield area.

"We come and visit, and I take Mary down for bingo on Fridays, every Friday," Barry told the Mansfield News Journal. "She's had a little trouble with her eyesight, so she can't see the numbers real clearly. So we do that, and we reminisce and visit, and I try to keep her supplied with her favorite candy, which is Werther's," she added.

Barry has a personal connection to OhioHealth Hospice. After losing her daughter and husband, she saw the care hospice gave her loved ones, but also to her.

She decided it would be good for her heart and her soul to give back, and volunteering was the way she could do that.

"It's such a blessing helping others," she told Mansfield News Journal reporter Emily Mills.  "I feel like the Lord expects us to help others."

Barry is one of 23 hospice volunteers, but there is a tremendous need for more.

"It takes a special kind of person to be a hospice volunteer, and it's sometimes hard to find those people," she said to Mills. "Definitely a people person. Likes to listen, good listeners. People that have a nurturing spirit."

OhioHealth Hospice volunteer coordinator Robyn May say the beauty of having a long-time volunteer like Barry is bringing in younger, or new volunteers to learn from a veteran.

"It's definitely rewarding," May said to the paper. "It's a chance to give back to the older generation, you know, and so many of them don't have anyone, and, you know, they get lonely, so it's nice to provide that extra enhancement to their hospice service, too."

Applicants need a TB test and a background check, including fingerprinting, and volunteers need to go through training before starting.

To learn more about OhioHealth Hospice click here.

To read the article in the Mansfield News Journal click here.