Contributed by Lisa Baggett, BBH Professional Relations Liaison

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful.”

When my grandmother became a widow, she moved from Jacksonville to Signal Mountain to be near her daughter. The first thing my grandmother set out to do was find a church. She visited several churches on the mountain and said they were very nice but all of them welcomed her and asked her to have a seat.

When she walked into Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church, she was greeted warmly then immediately given a task. And as soon as service was over, she had a list of things to do for the coming week. She called her daughter and exclaimed, “I found my church!” What my grandmother longed for was to be useful. And being useful meant she felt connected to her community.

With the pandemic dominating 2020, Big Bend Hospice has seen a decrease in new volunteers in all eight counties. The patients we serve feel isolated enough by facing a terminal illness. Add in the pandemic and the isolation is compounded. We need volunteers more than ever and we hope to attract committed volunteers to help patients feel less isolated. We understand caution is key and we invite you to attend one of our monthly Virtual Volunteer Trainings to find out how Big Bend Hospice trains volunteers to stay safe while helping hospice patients during a challenging climate. We are confident that you will find being useful so rewarding!

Big Bend Hospice is appealing to the residents of our eight-county service area who may be looking for ways to help their community. We have a variety of volunteer opportunities available such as patient companionship, assisting caregivers with errands, administrative duties at the office, honoring veterans during Valor ceremonies, greeting visitors at the Dozier Hospice House, etc. We invite you to join us from the comfort of your home for our first Virtual Volunteer Training of the new year on Saturday, February 27th or March 27th . Join us and strengthen your social connections, enhance your civic engagement, and enjoy positive mental health benefits. And find out that the purpose of life is to be useful and being useful brings happiness!

Please contact Katie Mandell at 850-878-5310 or email to learn more.