Kay Welch Shares Her Story
When Kay Welch received a card from Caring Circle thanking her for 36 years of volunteer service, she thought it was a mistake. But after checking her first volunteer application she found it was dated 1982. Since then, Kay has been reflecting on what she has encountered over the years and how working with terminally ill patients and their families became a calling for her.
Kay lost her husband to cancer before hospice services were available in southwest Michigan. She always wished there would have been hospice support for her family during this difficult time. Following his death, she began working with Starks Funeral Home where she provided support to bereaved families. From her contacts there she became involved with a group who worked to raise funds for local hospice programs, now known as Hospice at Home.
As hospice services grew, Kay began volunteering with Lory’s Place as a facilitator for grief support groups, and when the Hanson Hospice Center opened, she was one of the first volunteers to visit with residents. Kay has been amazed by the progress Caring Circle has made over the years, from the beginning stages to now serving countless patients and families. She has enjoyed making connections with patients and their grieving families, while offering her support.
As she looks at pictures of her late husband, she looks back with a smile. Kay knows grief doesn’t end after a certain time period, healing takes time, and continued support is vital. Kay is thankful to be a part of programs in our community that provide this continual support.
Are you ready to volunteer?
Caring Circle is seeking compassionate people to volunteer locally and help make a difference in the lives of those we serve and their families. No medical knowledge is required, and all necessary training will be provided.
Volunteer opportunities include:
- Providing companionship to clients at their home/nursing facility
- Sitting with clients while a spouse/caregiver is away
- Providing pet visits or music
- Hair and nail care
- Sewing projects
- Cooking, meal preparation, and baking
- Helping with light housekeeping and grocery shopping
- Maintenance/handy person
- Clerical aid (mailings, phone calls, etc.)
- Event volunteers
- “We Honor Vets” program
- Advance care planning facilitator