How hospice volunteers make every day extraordinary

Posted by Lisa Fortini-Campbell, Volunteer

How hospice volunteers make every day extraordinary

Do small things with great love.” — Mother Teresa of Calcutta

That simple quote from Mother Teresa popped into my head as soon as the barista at the little coffee shop I like in Evanston handed me the cup of cappuccino. Using nothing but swirls of perfectly foamed milk, I saw he’d painted a panda bear on the surface of my drink. When I exclaimed with delight and he smiled back at me, we shared a moment of joy.

As I sat down at a table by the window and got ready to enjoy my coffee, I realized just how much all of us who volunteer at JourneyCare are like that barista—we do small things with great love. It’s the spirit of JourneyCare.

The barista’s task was ordinary: to make a cup of cappuccino. Our tasks are ordinary, too. We visit patients, help organize events, sit vigil, knit lap robes, answer the phones, give caregivers respite, serve at the reception desk, help to fundraise, bake treats for our CareCenters, stuff envelopes and so much more.

But when those small, ordinary things are done with great love, they become extraordinary.

When a new patient receives a lap robe form one of our social workers, courtesy of our KnitWits, they feel embraced by a new family of care …

When a family can go out to dinner because a volunteer stays in to sit vigil, they realize their “family” has just grown bigger in a person who was a stranger only moments ago …

When a donor is sincerely thanked at one of our Thank-a-Thons, they feel honored for the irreplaceable contribution they make to our mission …

When a caller hears a cheerful voice on the phone or a visitor sees a friendly face at one of our reception desks, they feel immediately welcomed and at ease …

And when an exhausted family member finds something delicious to eat in the Family Room at the CareCenter, they know that someone wants to take care of them too …

And when all of that is over – the hand-written nametag is thrown away after the event ends, the caregiver goes back to work and the patient has waved goodbye and gone back to sleep – the joy remains for us and for them. And the reason is because all of it was done with the greatest of love.

Would you be an extraordinary JourneyCare volunteer?! Learn all about how you can help at

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