Volunteers


Pet Therapy at Bereavement Camp: The Dog Days of Summer

JourneyCare pet therapy volunteers bring a variety of trained, furry companions to visit patients in their homes, assisted-living and care facilities, and our Hospice CareCenters. They may also comfort campers at Camp Courage, JourneyCare’s bereavement camp for children ages 6-13, who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

Twelve years ago, I was a patient at the Rehab Institute of Chicago (RIC). The day that I was transferred there was a low point for me as I’d hoped instead to be going home. As I settled into my new surroundings, I noticed a dog and its owner standing in the hallway outside of my room. Before I knew it, the dog was at my bedside, resting its head on the side of my bed and looking up at me with eyes of love. The dog was one of several therapy dogs assigned to work at RIC. To this day, that visit stands out as a turning point in my long recovery from major surgery and multiple strokes. As a life-long dog lover, I told myself that someday, when I had the time, I would train a therapy dog so we could bring the same peace and joy that I’d experienced to others.

‘Project Runway’ alum Peach Carr talks JourneyCare’s fashion-forward fundraiser, Allstars of Project Runway

‘Project Runway’ alum Peach Carr talks JourneyCare’s fashion-forward fundraiser, Allstars of Project Runway

At Sharing Our Journey, we are thrilled about JourneyCare’s upcoming Allstars of Project Runway fashion show on Saturday, June 29! This fashion-forward event will feature five designers from TV’s “Project Runway” unveiling their 2019 collections at Theater on the Lake in Chicago. Proceeds will benefit JourneyCare programs for patients living with serious illness.

To share more about this brand-new event, we chatted with former “Project Runway” contestant Peach Carr, who will feature her couture in this unique event and serves on its planning committee. Here’s her inside look at “Allstars of Project Runway”:

Veteran hospice volunteers: Each one a hero

As part of the We Honor Veterans partnership with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the Veterans Administration (VA), military veterans volunteer to visit JourneyCare hospice patients who are also veterans and have a special and meaningful bond that only those with military experience share.

Last year JourneyCare cared for nearly 1,200 veterans across our 10-county service area. Each veteran patient in our care has the opportunity to be honored by a JourneyCare hospice veteran volunteer. A brief but meaningful pinning ceremony is performed, and a certificate of honor is presented by a member of our Veteran Volunteer Advisory Council, which engages veteran-centric event planning, training and educational opportunities.

For the JourneyCare veteran volunteers and Veteran Volunteer Advisory Council members, the days, hours and minutes that lead up to a pinning ceremony for a veteran in hospice care invite contemplation. 

Our hospice veteran volunteers chose to serve a cause greater than their selves. They saw their country threatened. They signed up to confront the threat. They felt some tug, they answered some call, and they said, "Let’s go." That spirit that says, “When my country is challenged, I will do my part to meet that challenge.” 

Reiki in hospice – energetic connections

Reiki in hospice – energetic connections

Volunteering as a Reiki Practitioner at JourneyCare is an incredibly rewarding and sacred experience.

Reiki is an ancient Japanese healing technique and a form of alternative medicine in which energy is channeled from the practitioner to the patient to enhance and rebalance the system physically, mentally and spiritually to reduce stress, pain, agitation and fatigue. Reiki is facilitated using either a very light touch or no touch with hands slightly off the body, providing a therapeutic option for those who are in pain or unable to be touched.

Students share unconditional love of animals with hospice patients

Students share unconditional love of animals with hospice patients

Many of us understand the joy, love, laughter and healing that our own animals bring to our souls. Imagine a high school club that allows teens to take part in enriching lives by promoting the unconditional love and healing of the human-animal bond through visits to nonprofit organizations such as JourneyCare.

The SOUL Harbour Ranch Animal Therapy Program has partnered with Barrington High School to create the SOUL Buddies Animal Therapy Club. Students are teamed with mentors and animals from the SOUL Harbour Ranch Animal Therapy Program and the Masonic Association of Service and Therapy Dogs (M.A.S.T.) to learn how to handle registered and certified therapy animals with hospice patients and others. Then we visit JourneyCare with miniature horses and dogs (plus mini donkeys in training!) and other organizations in the Barrington community. 

In loving memory: ‘Love, Loss, and What I Wore’ performance benefiting JourneyCare

In loving memory: ‘Love, Loss, and What I Wore’ performance benefiting JourneyCare

This February 28, the JourneyCare Foundation is proud to invite you to 'Love, Loss, and What I Wore,' a play written by Nora and Delia Ephron, based on the book by Ilene Beckerman. It is organized as a series of monologues and features an all-female cast. The women reflect on relationships and what they wore, using the wardrobe as a time capsule of a woman’s life. JourneyCare Board Member Stephanie Leese Emrich will direct this production.

Soup, Warmth and Comfort for Hospice Patients

Soup, Warmth and Comfort for Hospice Patients

JourneyCare's Soup & Stories initiative began five years ago when JourneyCare Juniors and adult volunteers from Barrington delivered containers of homemade soup, fleece blankets and conversation cards to the homes of JourneyCare patients on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Whenever Dr. Martin Luther King's Day of Service takes place,  I am reminded of all the ways I can serve the community and make the world a better place. As a JourneyCare Youth Advisory Board Volunteer, one activity I love to participate in during this holiday is the Soup and Stories deliveries. If this initiative has taught me one lesson, it’s that a little can go a long way.  Just a small package filled with soup, a blanket, and a card can brighten someone’s day and bring love, comfort and joy to a home. 

Christmas for Cielo, a special young hospice patient

Christmas for Cielo, a special young hospice patient

Santa visit cSince joining JourneyCare as a hospice volunteer this past year, I’ve had the privilege of serving as a care companion for two patients so far and I am thoroughly enjoying my role. So, when I saw a request for an “elf” to accompany Santa to bring an early Christmas to a pediatric hospice patient this October, I immediately wanted to help.

Cielo was 17 years old suffering from a glioblastoma with her condition advancing, so she wished for an early Christmas. I was honored to be selected as a helper elf to accompany Santa and bring some Christmas joy to Cielo and her family. 

Hospice garden volunteers: Making life beautiful

For National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, JourneyCare is celebrating the many innovative and creative ways our staff and volunteers help provide care, support and companionship to positively impact the lives of JourneyCare patients and their loved ones. Learn more at journeycare.org.

If you ever run into people carrying mud-covered shovels at the front entrance of The Pepper Family Hospice CareCenter in Barrington, you’re seeing JourneyCare volunteer gardeners at work. We volunteers have designed and planted the front entrance of CareCenter for the past four years. We also arrange the patio planters and undertake several other creative garden projects that welcome patients and their loved ones to JourneyCare.

We are a team that tries to make things beautiful with plants. As members of The Garden Club of Barrington, all of us bring different strengths and contributions to our work at the CareCenter. Some of us are really good at design, others are skilled at finding donations, some are very knowledgeable about plants — and we all like to dig in the dirt. We also all have experience interacting with JourneyCare patients and enjoy visiting with families who stop by when we are working. Gardening seems to be a great connection for visitors to share stories about their loved ones.  

jc-logo white