Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County celebrates its 34th anniversary during November, National Hospice Month.
VHOCC began with Rose Crumb’s idea that she and seven other volunteers could provide free around-the-clock medical availability so that terminally ill patients could live their remaining days at home and their caregivers would be helped to care for them and cope with the impending death of their loved ones.
In the first few years the group held so many bake, quilt and garage sales that Crumb became known as “Second-hand Rose.” Word spread to other community organizations.
By 2009, when Crumb retired after 31 years as volunteer executive director, the organization had grown from two patients (for the first year) and a budget of $327 to an average of 60 patients per month, four paid nurses and an annual budget of $365,000.
VHOCC now operates an equipment closet and loans available medical equipment to those who live in its service area, which extends from Joyce to Diamond Point. In addition, it provides trained respite care volunteers and grief coping classes.
All of its services are paid for through donated money, grants and community fundraising events. No bills are sent to anyone, including governmental agencies and/or insurance companies.
If not for its 135 volunteers, VHOCC still would be just an idea.
To volunteer, call 452-1511 or visit vhocc.org. There are many tasks for those not medically trained, including working in the office, delivery of medical equipment, writing publicity releases, helping with fundraising and working with finance and personnel.