Up Close and Personal with a Cornerstone Volunteer: Wayne Smith

Up Close and Personal with a Cornerstone Volunteer: Wayne Smith

There are many different reasons people become a hospice volunteer. Wayne Smith thought he knew his, but quickly found out there was more.

“When I first started volunteering,” he says, “I was helping other veterans in the community. I thought it was to help other people. But I quickly found out the person I helped out the most was me. Cornerstone keeps me in touch with veterans and their families. I studied social work a while back and I like that I’m able to put a lot of what I studied into practice.

“I do a lot of different things: provide respite care, companionship and comfort for hospice patients; participate in the “We Honor Veterans” program by performing Cornerstone SALUTES! ceremonies for veterans of all ages; assist in public forums; and provide services in more intimate private settings helping with ceremonies that honor veterans and their families. We honor veteran hospice patients by recognizing their commitment to their country and addressing their unique needs at the end of life. I also set up displays to distribute marketing materials at health fairs and community outreach events. By doing those things, I hope to educate the community about services Cornerstone provides and recruit new volunteers.”

People wonder about the challenges volunteers face. Aside from the time and energy commitments, Wayne says his biggest challenge is not being able to do more.

“One of my biggest challenges is that I think sometimes I care too much and there are limits to what I can do for the people I meet,” he says.

He also has specific challenges.

“I need to have a good GPS,” he says. “Even though the coordinators do provide detailed directions, when I encounter construction I can get turned around.”

Volunteers need compassionate hearts and an urge to serve people. But what are some other handy skills? “Volunteers need good listening skills and the ability to keep an open mind especially when faced with new experiences,” Wayne says. “Most important, be flexible!”

If you would like more information on volunteering with Cornerstone Hospice,
please call 888-728-6234 and ask for a Volunteer Specialist near you,
or email volunteering@cshospice.org.

To download a volunteer application click here and submit to Cornerstone, or you may call the Volunteer Specialist in your area.

Orange: 407-304-2604  |  Osceola: 407-304-2002  |  Polk: 863-291-5567

Highland & Hardee: 863-253-1611  |  Lake & Sumter Counties: 352-742-6895  |  The Villages: 352-751-3147

Cornerstone Care Center at Orlando Health  407-514-8205