We are pleased to announce April’s Hospice Caregiver Award winner of the $100 gift card:
Gary Wasmer, a volunteer from Berger Hospice
On a Tuesday morning in May, volunteers from Berger Hospice gathered as they normally would for their monthly meeting. Unbeknownst to them, some special guests were coming with a special surprise. At least that is what Lisa Merrill, Volunteer Coordinator with Berger Hospice, told her volunteers at that meeting.
Diane Smith, chapel manager for the Defenbaugh-Wise Schoedinger chapel in Circleville, walked in followed by Julie Olds, Director of Community Relations and Education for Schoedinger, and Michael Schoedinger, President, and proceeded to tell the group about the Hospice Caregiver Award Program. She also said that someone very special in the room had been recognized as an exceptional caregiver. That special person was Gary Wasmer.
Gary is a volunteer with Berger Hospice for seven years and was nominated by Lisa Merrill. Here is what she wrote about Gary:
I am nominating Gary Wasmer, Berger Hospice Volunteer, for the Hospice Caregiver Award. He exemplifies what it means to be a hospice volunteer. He is reliable and dedicated to helping the patients assigned to him. He is also available to help with jobs and patients other than “his” patients, by making himself available to run errands, deliver meds and supplies, and help with fundraising. He does all of these things with a quiet and calm presence and in a selfless manner.
To give a few examples, on Christmas Eve at 11:30 PM, Gary went to his patient’s home to change the battery in the thermostat so they would have heat. He visits the patient weekly to deliver flowers (from the Berger Hospice “Flowers from the Heart” program) and take out the trash. He also provides him with books on tape because the patient does not see well. He sometimes drives ‘him’ to appointments. This is all for just one patient. He serves at least two patients all the time, and sometimes more if we need him.
In addition, he makes deliveries and runs errands when needed. For our annual Light Up A Life community fundraiser, he hangs the lights on the Hospice Christmas Tree (at the courthouse) and helps with other aspects of that program.
What makes all of this special is that he does all of it with little or no acknowledgement or need for recognition. He does it because he truly wants to help people.
When Diane called Gary’s name as the award winner, the look on his face was priceless – amazement and shock. He couldn’t believe someone recognized him for his efforts. He was presented with the $100 gift card, balloons, and a boutonniere. Gary was pleasantly surprised and sincerely appreciative of this award and recognition.
To learn more about the Hospice Caregiver Award Program, visit our website at http://www.schoedinger.com/about-us/community-events. There you can download the brochure and nomination form. All nominations and information will be kept confidential. Any person who works or volunteers in hospice is eligible, so nominate that special person today!
Julie is the Director of Community Relations at Schoedinger Funeral Service.