Volunteers Bravely Serving Through Pandemic

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Steve Griffin, St. Francis Reflections and Foundation board member with Sparky the therapy dog

St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care has a rich history of volunteer involvement. In fact, volunteers founded the hospice organization in 1977. Following the mission of trailblazer Emily Sasko, a nurse and Titusville resident, volunteers led the organization for nearly 20 years.

With more than 40 years of exceptional care, St. Francis Reflections continues to serve as Brevard’s only independent, not-for-profit comfort care resource, helping patients and those they love during the most delicate times in their lives. Originating on the principle of neighbors helping neighbors, St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care offers a diverse range of compassionate care services, including palliative care, pediatric palliative care, hospice and grief support for all ages.

“Being part of the St. Francis Reflections Volunteer Program has made me fall in love with community service and giving back to others. I treasure the strong connections I have made with our patients and their families,” said a St. Francis Reflections volunteer.

The last 18 months have presented volunteers with many unprecedented challenges. Prior to COVID-19, scores of St. Francis Reflections volunteers spent several hours each week visiting patients and their families, making their days brighter by reading, playing music or cards, chatting about favorite memories or going for a walk. These regularly scheduled activities occurred in hospitals, skilled nursing centers, assisted living facilities or in the home setting.

“COVID-19 challenged our organizations’ volunteers. The pandemic highlighted the significance of, and need for, the compassionate care and support we provide patients and families,” said Angelique Bonadio, lead volunteer coordinator. “Our volunteers support our mission of uplifting lives, uplifting each other and uplifting our community. This mission keeps us focused on what is most important in our day-to-day work. There is no better way to be uplifted than to uplift others.”

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Mary Driscoll, St. Francis Reflections volunteer

St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care is a Level Five Partner with We Honor Veterans, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).

“I was not sure what to expect when I began volunteering at St. Francis Reflections. I quickly realized one of the greatest gifts you can give is your time. I now encourage everyone to volunteer and make a difference in someone’s life,” said Reverend Haywood Davidson, St. Francis Reflections veteran volunteer.

St. Francis Reflections’ Level Five recognition demonstrates a high degree of exceptional commitment to veteran-centric care in the community. St. Francis achieved this prestigious distinction in 2020 and is currently the only Level Five Partner in Brevard County.

As Brevard County’s only independent, not-for-profit hospice provider, St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care invites you on a journey to remember. We are currently recruiting volunteers for all positions. Volunteers remain at the heart of what we do.

“St. Francis Reflections volunteers are an essential part of the team. Our volunteers ensure patients do not feel alone or isolated by sitting with homebound patients, bringing therapy animals for a visit or accompanying them on walks,” said Lauren Loftis, chief medical officer for St. Francis Reflections.

St. Francis Reflections believes our community members have a strong desire to give of their time and talent and are best able to help create the special life moments that matter for our patients. From spending time visiting to helping decorate for the holidays or simply enjoying a card game, our volunteers provide the love and light our neighbors need.

If you are interested in learning more, visit ReflectionsLSC.org/Volunteering or call 1-321-269-4240.

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