Cardinal Hospice Care

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Embracing Compassion: A Volunteer’s Journey at Cardinal Hospice

As we celebrate National Volunteer Month this April, we are honored to share a personal story from one of our dedicated volunteers at Cardinal Hospice, Jendry Alpizar. Her journey reflects the heart of volunteering, showcasing how compassionate care and meaningful connections within our diverse team make a difference.

Jendry Alpizar, Cardinal Hospice Volunteer

Since November 2023, I have volunteered with Cardinal Hospice, and during this time, every interaction with the residents has held profound meaning and personal growth. My desire to volunteer started when my aunt was admitted to hospice care during the last stages of her battle with cancer. It was during this difficult experience that I realized the vital role of support, not just for the patients but for their families too, who at times need to step back to replenish their strength and emotional well-being. Inspired by this, I wanted to provide similar support and comfort to other residents and families by sharing Bible verses that offer words of encouragement and lend a listening ear to those who need to talk and often reminisce, as well as help wherever I am needed.

Approaching this role, I knew it would be challenging, but the rewards surpass any difficulties. There’s an incomparable joy in seeing residents’ eyes light up as you enter their rooms—spaces they have made their own with little memories and tokens of love from their lives. My interactions are not only about providing care but also about receiving wisdom.

Recently, when facing surgery myself, I found strength recalling the resilience of many residents. Their courage and grace in the face of adversity were my motivators, guiding me through recovery. Some of the most priceless moments as a Cardinal Hospice volunteer happens in the simplest of settings, such as sitting at the front of the building listening to music on a sunny day, picking flowers on our weekly strolls, or sharing a laugh as we race to the vending machine to grab a Pepsi—seen as liquid gold by one of my favorite residents who has since passed away, and I had the honor of being able to say goodbye and hold their hand one last time.

My volunteer coordinator and training have been instrumental in preparing me for the emotional aspects of hospice care as well as the expectations of this position. His guidance has helped me navigate my experiences and ensure that I am supported every step of the way. This journey has also been pivotal in shaping my professional aspirations. As I work toward becoming a physician assistant, the lessons of compassion, patience, and advocacy I’ve learned here are as important as any textbook knowledge.

Reflecting on the past months, I can truly say that volunteering for Cardinal Hospice has been an immensely rewarding experience. It has enriched my life in countless ways, teaching me about the strength of the human spirit and the power of connection and community. Every day spent at the hospice reinforces my belief in the importance of care that goes beyond medical needs—the care that nurtures the soul.

Interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer at Cardinal Hospice? — click here.