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Chris Williams

The Heart of a Volunteer


Chris Williams In this story within a story, an author’s story intersects with his subject’s. The author of the story below is Chris Williams (at left), a former staff member at Hospice of Dayton who joined the staff in May 2014 and who recently resigned to devote attention full-time to his studies in his final year at Wright State University.  As part of his ongoing story, Chris has found a way to keep connected to his Hospice family.

As a communications major, Chris is now writing for the student-run DailyFlipz  ( mobile website.  He is developing a series of hospice related stories for the site, which will also be published in Hospice of Dayton outlets.  In fact, the story below, “The Heart of a Volunteer,” was written by  Chris and is published here by permission. We wish Chris all the best in his future endeavors, including his work sharing stories from Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton!

Read more about Sue Rutherford, a volunteer who helps with Hospice grief services, written by Chris Williams: 

Sue Rutherford has a passion for volunteering and does so 15 hours a week at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton since retiring in 2012.

“I felt a calling to give back to the community and I thought Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton would be a good place to come to give back,” Rutherford said.Ms. Rutherford - Heart of a Volunteer

Rutherford’s husband first started volunteering as a chaplain for Hospice and Sue followed suit, currently volunteering three days a week, five hours a day for Hospice’s “Outreach Caller Program.” This program was created to call families who recently lost loved ones and offer them information regarding Hospice grief services.

“My job is to prepare the list of people to call, and I follow through to make sure all of the steps in the program have been completed,” Rutherford said. “My Christian faith has always been a part of my life and I feel that is a duty that we are called, I felt God was leading me here.”

For Rutherford, interacting with families and patients makes that feeling a reality, giving her much fulfillment.

Maureen Swarts, manager of volunteer services for Hospice of Dayton, mentioned that becoming a volunteer for Hospice of Dayton is “a rigorous application process, it’s very similar to staff.” Aside from the application, references, a background check, a tuberculosis test, and volunteer training are all required. Hospice offers 32 different positions for volunteers.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for any volunteer positions. For more information call (937) 256-4490.

Rutherford also had advice for future volunteers.

“I believe Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton is a wonderful place to be,” she said. “I feel if your heart is there for helping families who have loved ones that are not in good health and you want to be here, definitely it’s a good place to come.”

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