In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Week, we sat down with four of TRU Community Care’s longest standing volunteers; a family of four siblings. All of whom have dedicated over 2400 hours to supporting TRU’s mission. We wanted to better understand their motivation for being a hospice volunteer and gain a better understanding of what it takes to do this kind of work.
When Steve Boselli first started volunteering for a hospice organization, it was during the AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s and early 1990s in downtown Denver. He was drawn to the Mother Teresa’s organization, Seaton House which helped the ailing by providing respite and hospice care.
Little did he know, that this would turn into over 1300 hours of volunteer work with TRU Community Care for himself and an additional 1200 hours of volunteering for three of his twelve siblings.
Don Boselli, Steve Boselli, Denise Boselli, and Sharon (Boselli) Thomas are brothers and sisters from Boulder County. All of whom share a passion for serving others and have collectively served over 30 years with TRU Community Care in both the in-patient TRU Care Center and in-home hospice with TRU Community Care.
Their family’s passion for helping others is apparent and understandable given their upbringing with a father who was a Deacon in the Catholic Church. The fact that all four of these siblings have chosen to volunteer with TRU is what makes this family unique.
“Spending time with people at the end of their life is really peaceful and beautiful. You are there to hear their story, to comfort them, and to give a little relief to their caretaker” as told by Denise Boselli.
These siblings don’t have training in healthcare or caretaking other than the robust training that is provided by TRU Community Care. They did
While it was a different feeling in caring for his sister and father, Steve tells us that working with TRU Community Care patients, “ is about learning from those that we work with, their families, their lives, their gratitude toward others. You don’t always know the situation that you are going to walk into, so you need to be flexible and accepting to the environment, but caring for them is the easy part.”
TRU realizes that there are a lot of misconceptions about volunteering for a hospice organization, including that you have to be there for the patient when they die and hold their hand. Don explains that this really isn’t the case. “Most of the time patients are awake and sharing stories with you. And when they aren’t feeling up to being social, you can just sit there and be a presence in the room in case they need something.”
All the siblings explain that a big part of the volunteer job is being there for the nurses, who are working 8-12 hour shifts. In order to support them, they bring them food, coffee, cheers, and are there to really pump them up.
“If more people know about the reality of this type of service, perhaps more people would volunteer for TRU Community Care–there are so many different ways to show
It’s the small things that matter when doing hospice volunteer work including gestures, reading, music, listening, and showing up. The Boselli family has learned to do these things well and to teach others along the way. They all plan to continue their work with TRU and share their
— Thank you Boselli Family for sharing your story with TRU Community Care!
If you are interested in volunteering for TRU, please visit the volunteer section of our website to learn more.