Volunteering Options

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The Hospice Volunteer

Volunteers at Rock River Hospice & Home form a dedicated group of loyal and sensitive individuals who help ensure the mission of Hospice care. Committed to excellence in care, Hospice volunteers have a profound respect for the specialized needs and comfort of terminally ill patients and their families.

Hospice Volunteers understand the complex challenges that patients and families face when coping with a terminal illness. Volunteers provide ongoing support and reassurance as well as a broad spectrum of services. These include daily household tasks and activities that contribute to the comfort of the patient and family.

Many volunteers have had personal experiences with a family member or close friend who has had a life-limiting illness. This experience often enables the volunteer to be especially sensitive and supportive to both the patient’s and family’s needs. However, all volunteers receive comprehensive training regardless of experience.

Prospective volunteers are asked to wait at least one year after the death of a loved one before volunteering at Rock River Hospice & Home.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Direct Care Volunteers are welcomed as part of the Hospice team, providing companionship to the patient and respite for the caregiver. Volunteers make friendly visits, read to patients, write letters and run errands. Often the most important task is listening and understanding.
  • Special Project Volunteers assist hospice staff with bulk mailings and other projects as needed.
  • Special Event Volunteers lend time and talent to fundraisers and special programs. These events include the Festival of Trees, golf outing, and more.
  • Friends of Hospice are volunteers who have an interest in and work in several different areas – community outreach and networking, baking, light maintenance, pet therapy, marketing and fundraising, Veteran visits & pinnings (must be a veteran), memorial garden/yard work, phone calling and more.


Training sessions for direct care patient volunteers are typically held twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.A typical training session is 16 hours in length and is spread over a two to three day period. Topics covered in training include but is not limited to: Patient/Family Dynamics, Personal Death Awareness, Communication, Bereavement & Grief and more.

Want to know more about volunteering?

Call 815-625-3858.

Why I Volunteer

I became a hospice volunteer because I want to help people. If I could put a smile on someone’s face, it does my heart good.”

— Loretta Shilling

I became a hospice volunteer because I lost four loved ones and because of the losses, I wanted to give back. It’s been a wonderful experience and it filled a void I had.

— Charla Olson

I became a hospice volunteer because the most important thing I can do at my age is to serve God and other people. I like to help people

— Ed Vandermeulen

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