Gift of a day

Albert Janosik, a patient of Crossroads Hospice, greets Cabela’s marketing manager Gary Gerrone during his Gift of a Day, alongside his daughter, Jackie Mertz, in 2017.

Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care, which assists patients and families across Northeast Ohio, is searching for volunteers to assist with its Gift of a Day program.

The program is designed to give patients a “perfect day” during their limited remaining time. Volunteers, referred to as “ultimate givers,” also have the opportunity to meet with patients and share their favorite activities with them, help create a leather-bound “life journal” of memories and milestones for a patient or their family, run errands, work in the office or make companion visits, according to a news release.

“We call our volunteers ‘ultimate givers’ because they selflessly give extra comfort and compassion to terminally-ill patients and their families,” Gift of a Day Coordinator Ilona Rodgers said in the release. “They have an incredible willingness to help and learn, and they gain so much from the experience.”

Gift of a Day can be as big or small as a patient desires, such as a World War II veteran flying in a vintage Air Force biplane, a blues musician returning to Beale Street in Memphis to perform, a former equestrienne going on a carriage ride around a lake and a dog lover playing with six canines.

Potential volunteers must complete an application, TB skin test and Crossroads members-led training session. Applicants must also wait at least a year following the death of an immediate family member or loved one before applying.

For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, contact Rodgers at 216-654-9300 or ilona.rodgers@crossroadshospice.com, or visit crossroadshospice.com/volunteering.

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