Agnesian HealthCare volunteer enjoys paying it forward

Shelly Haberman
Sandy Schmidt

No one has a crystal ball to know what their future holds. No one knows when they may need a helping hand. Sandy Schmidt, of Waupun, knows that.

That’s just one of many reasons why she serves as an Agnesian HealthCare volunteer. For more than five years, Schmidt has helped Agnesian HealthCare patients through its hospice respite and companionship program in both Beaver Dam and Waupun, as well as a meal server at the Hospice Home of Hope in Fond du Lac, and greeter at the Waupun Regional Dialysis Center.

“To me, it is rewarding to help and meet older adults who sometimes don’t have any family,” according to Schmidt. “I’ve been in health care all of my life and love helping people. I know that it cheers them up to see someone that comes to visit them and helps them out.”

Schmidt is grateful for all the individuals and families she has been able to help during her time as a volunteer. “It’s so rewarding. You get so much appreciation. Maybe someday, I will need someone to visit me.”

There are many special moments with any volunteer commitment.

“I visited a gentleman for over a year,” Schmidt recalls. “During one of our visits, while we were having a nice conversation, I realized I had also been the volunteer assigned to his wife a few years prior, but I had not gotten a chance to meet him until then. After a couple of months at the facility, it was his birthday. I decided to bring him a cake, some balloons and ice cream. When I walked in, he was astonished that I came with all that stuff. He had the biggest smile on his face.

“About a month later, something told me that I needed to go see him. When I arrived, he was not alert but I sat at his side. He was able to hold my hand and passed away. Every time I think about him, I get tears in my eyes.”

There are as many volunteer opportunities as there are individual preferences for service. Waupun Memorial Hospital is looking for volunteers to help at the information desk, comfort cart and gift shop. The dialysis center in Beaver Dam is looking for substitute greeters. In addition, hospice volunteers are being sought in the Beaver Dam, Fox Lake and Waupun areas, and at the Hospice Home of Hope in Fond du Lac.

For more information about volunteering at the Hospice Hope and the next volunteer training session, call Jenny Stephens at (920) 924-4662 or send a message to Jennifer.Stephens1@ssmhealth.com.

For hospital volunteer opportunities in Ripon and Waupun, contact Kim Bresser at (920) 745-3670 or Kimberly.Bresser@ssmhealth.com.

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