A smile appears on Mary Huettl’s face as she recalls the precious moments she shared with a hospice patient.
Mary helps Fairview Hospice patients tell their life story and produces a written snapshot for their loved ones to cherish. She's a volunteer with the Legacy Program.
“I meet with each patient about three to four times, and I don’t have to ask many questions. The stories just come,” Mary says. “It’s been a wonderful experience, and it’s amazing how much I’ve learned."
“The Legacy Program idea was introduced by a former volunteer,” says Megan O’Keefe, supervisor of Volunteer Programs. “There's no prerequisite to become a Legacy Program volunteer. You just need to be an excellent listener and have the desire to make a difference in a very meaningful way.”
Each finished piece is as unique as the patient. They vary in length, from a few pages to over 50, and often contain photos and other memorabilia.
“We’ve had patients request letters for family members on special occasions,” Megan says. “A past client asked for a letter to be given to her grandson on his high school graduation. She wanted him to know how proud she was.”
“The Legacy Program has brought so much joy to my life,” Mary says. “Even though there are many tears, it’s a privilege to know I’m creating something a family will treasure forever.”
If you'd like to share your gifts of time, talent and compassion, visit our Volunteer at Fairview page to find volunteer opportunities.