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Annual grant for hospice organizations provides help for volunteer resources

The Maine Community Foundation awards a grant to hospice organizations each year. Officials at Hospice of Southern Maine say it's crucial to fund volunteer resources

MAINE, USA — In the time of COVID-19, some Mainers are still in need of end-of-life care for reasons other than the virus.

Maine Community Foundation offers an annual grant to assist hospice services. Last year, Hospice of Southern Maine was one of the recipients.

"We needed this grant to help us recruit and train new volunteers," Heidi Farber, Director of Development and Outreach at Hospice of Southern Maine said.

Hospice of Southern Maine used their funding for volunteer services, and the hospice movement was actually started by volunteers in Connecticut in 1974, and today volunteers remain at the forefront of hospice organizations.

During the pandemic, those volunteers are even more important, though much of what they do has changed. The non-profit as well as families of those receiving hospice care have tried to minimize physical contact with patients in their homes.

So now, "our volunteers come in and help put together admission packages or make phone calls," Farber said.

There are some positives coming out of the pandemic, though. Now more family and friends can be involved with a loved one's end-of-life care.

"We now are talking to people all over the world," Farber added.

Laura Lee with the Maine Community Foundation says this grant isn't only for hospice organizations, "It's really focused on both hospice and bereavement services," she said.

Bereavement services are oftentimes included for families in hospice services for a year or so after their loved one's passing.

Applications are now being accepted for this year's grant, and you can submit an application here.