At Volunteer Square, we love to recognize exceptional individuals that donate their time and energy to nonprofit organizations across Fairfield County. These volunteers make a true impact in the lives of others.
November is Hospice Month and we are thrilled to feature story written by Alice Mulligan, Director of Marketing and Development at Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County, highlighting one of their extraordinary volunteers.
Steve Sweeney of Wilton believes in giving back to his community. The married father of three is a retired CPA and now serves as a Patient Care Volunteer with Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County.
Steve is warm, personable and a lively conversationalist. In recent years, he visited with several friends who were terminally ill. He realized that by visiting his friends at their time of greatest need, he was able to ease their distress and bring them comfort. The experience changed him and after that, his wife encouraged him to become a hospice volunteer.
For the last five years, Steve has been visiting regularly with patients of Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County and it has been a profoundly rewarding experience.
“Patients can talk to a volunteer in a way that they can’t necessarily talk to their loved ones,” said Steve. “Sometimes patients tell me things that they are reluctant to discuss with their families so as not to pain or burden them. They are free to tell me anything – I am there to listen with an open heart.”
“Patients can be lonely sometimes,” continued Steve. “They look forward to my visits and are eager to share stories about their lives. I love getting to know them and it is gratifying to be able to be there for them.”
“Steve is a person whose patients and their families can count on,” said Laura Rundell, Volunteer Coordinator with Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County. “He is reliable and compassionate and that means so much to people at a time when they need steadfast emotional support.
“The time commitment of a hospice volunteer is flexible; how much time you choose to devote to it is up to each individual,” said Steve. “The training, support and guidance I have received from Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield Countyhas been invaluable and has fully prepared me for this work. The training and supervision is ongoing and I enjoy the camaraderie of my fellow volunteers.”
For more information about the Patient Care Volunteer Program at Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County, please call Laura Rundell at 203-762-8958, ext. 316.