Volunteers: The Backbone of Hospice del Valle

From right to left upper row: Sue Foster, Dominique Duran, Rita Curto, Rick Wertz, Marta Shoman, Susan Williams, Linda Howard, Charles Miller, Kelly Diss, Bottom row: Sandy Lopez, Erma Gallardo, Jody Barton, Bill Brooks

SAN LUIS VALLEY—Hospice del Valle has been serving the six counties of the San Luis Valley since 1982.
The Hospice Volunteers are a key force in providing services to clients and their families at the end of life and in time of bereavement. Hospice del Valle provides training and support for volunteers so that they may attend to the spiritual and emotional needs of clients who are close to death, as well as provide respite care for family care-givers.
During the recent Volunteer Luncheon, Hospice Volunteers expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to be involved with the organization. People come from all types of backgrounds, ages and valley locations, while sharing the common interest to be of help and support to patients and their families.
Marci Lierly a 27-year Hospice Veteran Volunteer brings her great skill set to assisting with the bereavement part of the team.
Sandy Lopez was inspired to become a volunteer after her mother passed away. The family called in hospice for the last weeks of her life. Sandy appreciated the care provided for her mom by the Hospice Team and has served eight years as a volunteer.
Rita Curto an eight-year Veteran Volunteer, joined the Hospice Team to bring a little light and a smile into the life of someone who may not know light and a smile at the end of their life.
Erma Gallardo became a Volunteer six years ago because at all times of her life, “people have encouraged and supported me. To care for someone and their family is a privilege.”
Michelle Salazar felt called five years ago, to respond to an article in the newspaper asking for volunteers from all corners of the San Luis Valley. Her life has been enriched and enlightened by visits with the dying and their family members. She acknowledges it is a gift to be present during this sacred time. Michelle was also instrumental in translating paperwork for our admission packets to Spanish for our local patients and their families.
Charles Miller has enjoyed his service as a long-time hospice team member. He regrets to close this part of my life as he no longer has the ability to continue. Charlie’s prayers continue for the good work Hospice does.
Dominique Duran felt great joy to help his grandfather with his end of life journey. He likes the fact that a person does not have to be alone at their time of passing. Dominique appreciates giving Hospice Families a breather during this very stressful time.
Linda Howard experienced assistance from Hospice del Valle with two or three family members. She states that Hospice was wonderful, caring and a huge relief to those who were caregivers. Hospice educated the family about end-of-life procedures and provided valuable information. Linda was inspired to become a volunteer three years ago and describes the organization as “What a blessing!”
Bill Brooks began volunteering in 2020 with an interest in grieving and death counseling. During his Master’s degree, he worked at a funeral home and was interested to see the different ways people grieved. As a hospice volunteer, Bill intends to be supportive to individuals and families in end-of-life and grieving issues. As a bonus, he reports the staff at Hospice del Valle is wonderful to work with; caring and have a great sense of humor.
Marta Shoman joined the volunteer team at hospice more than six years ago while volunteering with the Crestone End of Life Project. She brings her training as an end-of-life doula to her outreach with people and families who face grief, loss and the dying process.
Jody Barton joined the hospice volunteer team because Hospice del Valle was a special part of helping her with a very dear friend. This is Jody’s way to pass it forward.
Rick Wertz became a volunteer because he wanted to help people in need. He reports that Hospice del Valle is the perfect place to go. Everyone is full of love.
Sharon Adams feels very fortunate to have trained to be a Hospice Volunteer,  feeling it's important to do what she can to help people who are in hospice care.  Sharon can’t think of a more meaningful time in one’s life and is hoping to be of assistance to those in the Crestone area and beyond. She began
training during COVID so she’s been involved with Hospice del Valle for a few years now.
Darlene Bandy was a nurse for many years and is now retired. She is an Honorary Hospice Volunteer at River Valley Inn.
Jack & Morag Hunt are a husband and wife team that have both been volunteering for 6 years now and helped many patients and their families during the end of life journey providing companionship and respite time for their caregivers. They help the community in many other ways as well.
Diana Wenzell has been a volunteer since 2019. She is also a certified Pet Therapist with her amazing dog Mr. Muffin.
Bea Ferrigno  has been a part of the Hospice Volunteer program since 2021. Bea struggled over a sudden loss for some years before finding help in a Hospice grief group. She would like to
support others in grief, especially because many customary practices around death were prevented during the pandemic. 
Susan Williams has been a Hospice Volunteer since 2021.
Suzanne Burton has been a Hospice Volunteer for 7 years now and has a heart for helping
support patients and their families with their end of life journey.
Sherice Shiner has been a Volunteer for a year now, she wants to help people through the end of life process, both the dying and their families. Sherice says " it's a difficult and hard time for all and it helps to have our support.”
Kathy Bunch was actually one of the first nurses back when Hospice del Valle first began. She got to meet and visit with Mother Teresa. She has been a Hospice Volunteer for several years as
Hospice volunteers are a diverse group with a common interest in service to others during times of grief and loss. Volunteers provide services based on their interests and skills and the needs of the clients. We want to take this time to thank you all for giving of your hearts and compassion to your community in need, including a couple who have been a part of our team but are on hold right now.
For more information on becoming a Volunteer with Hospice del Valle, contact Volunteer
Coordinator, Kelly Diss at 719-589-9019 or email her at [email protected] .



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