Everything Brevard magazine launched the Heartbeat of Brevard in September and continues the legacy of honoring those who impact the Space Coast with their service. We are proud to introduce Reverend Haywood Davidson, a 10-year volunteer with St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care.
ABOUT REV. DAVIDSON:
Davidson, pastor of Greater Mt. Olive A.M.E. Church on Merritt Island, shares his boundless compassion with patients at St. Francis Reflections, where he began volunteering in 2011. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Rev. Davidson has remained committed to volunteering and serving the community.
For more than 10 years, he has spent time bedside with patients where he read the Bible and played games, walked them outdoors for fresh air, attended pinning ceremonies to honor veterans, prayed with patients and their families, and spent time with family members needing a simple conversation and laugh as a respite from the demands of caregiving.
Rev. Davidson said humor, and even hugs, are some of the tools that help him connect with patients — many who are clearly enlivened when he is in their presence. “We are often consumed by our jobs, busy schedules and what’s happening on social media. I have learned that at the end of the day what matters most is the time spent with family and friends,” Rev. Davidson said.
ABOUT ST. FRANCIS REFLECTIONS:
Since 1977, St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care has served as Brevard County’s only independent, not-for-profit comfort care resource, helping patients and those they love during the most delicate times in their lives.
Founded on the principle of neighbors helping neighbors, St. Francis Reflections offers a diverse range of compassionate care services including palliative care, pediatric palliative care, hospice and grief support for all ages. The organization was founded by volunteers — led by Emily Sasko, a nurse from Titusville — and continues to rely on the generosity of volunteers to live the mission “Uplifting Lives, Uplifting Each Other, and Uplifting Our Community.”
In addition to culturally sensitive support while under St. Francis’ care, St. Francis is a level 5 partner with We Honor Veterans, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). This high level of commitment to veteran-centric care is supplemented with various community initiatives for veterans like custom Wall of Honor ceremonies at local nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
A native of Arkansas, Rev. Davidson found himself in Brevard when he retired in 2003 after 20 years of service from the U.S. Navy.
He started his legacy of volunteerism while in the military, and the first place he gave his time after that was Daily Bread in Melbourne. He then contacted St. Francis Reflections to continue his commitment to the community.
He started making visits to homebound patients — spending time with them to allow their caregivers time away for themselves, and continues that service today.
Rev. Davidson is a shining example of how vital volunteerism is to St. Francis Reflections, and the entire community.
“He truly embodies our mission of neighbors helping neighbors,” said Bailey Lanser, South Coordinator of Volunteers at St. Francis Reflections.
St. Francis welcomes volunteers, age 14 and older, to be a part of its diverse programs.
“Your time and compassion is the greatest gift you can give, especially during life’s most delicate times,” said Vanessa Gonzales, North Coordinator of Volunteers at St. Francis Reflections.
Source: Everything Brevard Nov./December 2021 Issue