COVID-19: Neighbors Help Neighbors Through Volunteering

It has been said that “every cloud has a silver lining.” Even with all the restrictions, emotional and financial issues that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, there are “silver linings.”

For many, with businesses/offices not open and sheltering in place, life slowed down. Slowing down brought opportunities to complete home “to do” lists, work in the yard, catch up on binge watching, read books, and to spend time with family. Sheltering in place gave us a chance to appreciate all the little and big things, in our busy lives, that we took for granted.

The best “silver lining” is the acts of kindness, both random and planned. How in spite of restrictions, sheltering in place and social distancing, community and neighbors helping neighbors came shining through. It was that same sense of community and neighbor helping neighbor that, 35 years ago, brought Tidelands Community Hospice into being.

In 1981, members of this community had heard about hospice providing quality compassionate care for those at the end of life and support for their families.Their desire was to provide that type of care for their friends, families and neighbors.

In March 1985, thanks to their grassroots, Tidelands Community Hospice, then Hospice of Georgetown, was granted licensure as one of the first nonprofit hospices in South Carolina.

Today, it is the only locally based not-for-profit hospice serving Georgetown, Horry, and Williamsburg Counties. Serving its neighbors, being part of the community and giving back to the community continues to be at Tidelands Community Hospice’s core.

Tidelands Community Hospice Volunteers are an integral and valued part of its team. In fact Medicare-certified hospice programs are federally mandated to integrate volunteers as part its program. Since community volunteers had the desire and determination to bring hospice care to their community, Volunteers have been performing acts of kindness.

For patients and families, COVID-19 has resulted in additional layers, both emotional and financial, and new situations being added to their daily life. Yes, with its restrictions, COVID-19 has changed some procedures. However, volunteers, with their neighbors helping neighbors spirit can still:

  • Support patients and families. Thanks to phones and technology support can be offered in various forms from running errands for a caregiver, dropping off groceries, and checking in by phone to offer comfort and support are just to name a few. 
  • Offer comfort and support to those who have lost a loved one through phone calls, email, letters and cards. 
  • Assist staff with various duties. 
  • Help with fundraising. Tidelands Community Hospice Foundation, a nonprofit, supports the care and services provided by Tidelands Community Hospice. Contributions and fundraisers help ensure that care, comfort, and support continues to be available to all, regardless of their financial status or life situation. 
  • Be part of planning new programs, like ALIVE a music program for patients with dementia.

There are many more ways that Volunteers can give of their time and talents. As a volunteer, one chooses the amount of time and area they would like to serve. For information about Volunteering, please contact Volunteer Coordinator, Rick Yant at 843-520-7718.

Though we are seeing the lifting of some of the COVID-19 restrictions, we continue to monitor notifications from the CDC. On a daily basis, our staff continues to care for patients and families and to admit new patients, all while being proactive and following the CDC’s safety guidelines. Please contact Barriedel Llorens, Foundation Director, at 843-520-7714 for addition information.