Ken Wood, an 84-year-old Chicago native who now lives in Bridgman, has given over 900 hours of his time volunteering with hospice patients at Caring Circle. In 2007, Ken felt called to volunteer and began looking for an organization that would be a good fit for him.
Strong in his faith, Ken was in search of a place that would allow him to share his faith with those who found comfort in it. That’s when he discovered Caring Circle.
Ken is a very outgoing person, finds joy in social situations, and loves meeting and talking with people. He uses all these attributes to help make a difference in the lives of the patients and families he volunteers with.
Ken recounts a particular gentleman whom he formed an instant connection with. As they spent more time together, the two men soon discovered they shared both a similar background and hobbies. The gentleman told Ken that he particularly missed going to Sunday church services and asked if Ken would share the sermon from his church the next time he came to visit . Ken promised he would pay extra attention so he could share the message with this gentleman each week.
An Army veteran himself, Ken has participated in the We Honor Veterans certificate presentations. He shared that it's been meaningful for him to do this because they all have something in common and he really connects with them. Ken has also reached out to Congressman Fred Upton's office asking for flags flown at the U.S. Capitol for the purpose of presenting to patients. He said that over the course of five years, he's received nearly 20 flags. The veterans and their families are always very appreciative and grateful of the gesture. He recalls many emotional and tearful moments.
With COVID-19 putting a pause on most volunteer work at Caring Circle, Ken said he misses the opportunity to go out and visit with people. He recently received his second COVID-19 vaccination and is hopeful that he will soon be able to resume the volunteer work he enjoys so much.
Join the team–become a volunteer.
Caring Circle is looking for compassionate people to volunteer and help make a difference in the lives of clients and their families. No medical knowledge is required and all necessary training will be provided.
Volunteer opportunities range from friendly visits, pet therapy, meal preparation, and many other roles that match your interests and talents.
For more information on Caring Circle’s volunteer program call 269.429.7100 or visit caring-circle.org/volunteer