Inspiration Meets Passion

By Bethany Vonseggern, KCH Communications Coordinator
Published: April 26, 2022

What inspires you? Is it your surroundings, hobbies, loved ones, art? This list could go on and on as there is no one singular answer, is there? Inspiration can take on many forms.

For me, one strong form of inspiration comes from volunteerism, or more specifically working with volunteers. From volunteering as a child to being in the National AmeriCorps, then running a volunteer program to now occasionally working alongside volunteers at Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care (KCH), there has always been one common theme: Passion. And where there’s passion there’s inspiration leading us to make a difference. 

For instance, take the group of volunteers at Story Boutique (StoryB) where their passion is two-fold. One, they want to give back to their community and two, they enjoy fashion. It’s great to see firsthand how these volunteers greet each shopper and donor with a level of empathy and kindness you don’t normally see in a retail environment. They genuinely care about our donors and shoppers’ stories, from why they chose to come in and shop to the sentimentality of the items being donated. To watch these interactions is a gift within itself and leaves me with a heartwarming feeling that StoryB is much more than a store (see what I did there).

Kansas City Hospice volunteers providing expertise by sorting jewelry at Story Boutique, playing music for patients, making crafts and delivering flowers at Kansas City Hospice House.

StoryB volunteer of nine years, Peggy Reese, shares why she continues to contribute her time to the KCH retail shop:  “I love being here helping customers with buying our wonderful donations,” shares Peggy. “I love knowing that everything earned in the store goes directly back to Kansas City Hospice, an organization that is very near and dear to me.”

For many, their desire to give back holds personal significance. Some of our volunteers have received KCH services, while others have simply lost a loved one and have seen the impact our programs can have on a community. As a family member of several loved-ones who received hospice services I can relate to the desire to turn grief into support for others. To be a companion for a patient or to provide support for a family during such a sacred time is a privilege. 

There is also a strong appreciation for our skill-based volunteers. Those who use their professional or personal talents to achieve our vision. These volunteers inspire by sitting on our board or event committees, entertaining our patients and families with their musical talents, or by leading discussions for our Community Education Series. With the completion of National Volunteer Week last week (April 17 through April 23), I am reminded how amazing it is that someone can continuously give their skills to help others be more successful. 

The passion of these volunteers helps me keep my inspiration alive. To know they chose to give their time, energy and talents to help Kansas City Hospice fulfill its mission leaves me with a sense of purpose. I know that I can continue to give my all because they are there, in the forefront or behind the scenes, supporting our vision and unknowingly inspiring me (and others) to make a difference.

KCH volunteers assisting with pet therapy, delivering meals, creating specialty projects for veterans, and supporting our team at an event.

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