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Camellia Hospice workers thanked

Volunteer Coordinator Jeannie Couture cuts a cake while Neva Coghlin, left, Annie Edwards, 15 months, and Mary Margaret Edwards watch during volunteer appreciation day at Camellia Hospice Saturday. The gathering was a part of National Volunteer Week. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Volunteer Coordinator Jeannie Couture cuts a cake while Neva Coghlin, left, Annie Edwards, 15 months, and Mary Margaret Edwards watch during volunteer appreciation day at Camellia Hospice Saturday. The gathering was a part of National Volunteer Week. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Camellia Hospice celebrated the selfless, giving people of the community Saturday during National Volunteer Week.

Camellia Hospice operates an end of life program that provides health care and comfort to the elderly who have been diagnosed with the life expectancy of six months or less, said volunteer coordinator Jeannie Couture.

“We have volunteers who are prayer warriors,” Couture said. “They might also write letters and send out cards to our patients and they may visit with them.”

The volunteer work Camellia Hospice proves is based on the individual needs of a family.

Couture said volunteers deserve to be acknowledged and appreciated.

“Their simple acts of kindness mean so much to our patients and families because it shows love,” Couture said. “It’s a very rewarding experience for the patients, families and the volunteers because they see that what they are doing is making a difference in the lives of others. Even the simple gesture of praying for the patient and the family.”

Camellia Hospice volunteer Judi Jones has spent her time making birthday cards for Camellia Hospice patients who may be bedridden at home or residing in a nursing home.

Her cards consist of scripture, kids’ jokes and words of encouragement.

“It makes me feel good to write and let the folks we look after know we are thinking about them,” Jones said.

Jones said she received a letter from one of her card recipients, who thanked Jones by saying ‘what ever happens to me now, I’ll be OK and ready to see God’s face.”

It is a blessing to help others, Jones said.

Camellia Hospice volunteers Evelyn Stiner and Clara Carter use their time to visit the Camellia Hospice patients at their home and nursing home.

“I sit with them, I talk and read the Bible,” Stiner said. “I’m just there for them.”

Carter’s patients reside in Camelot Leisure Living and Heritage Manor Health and Rehabilitation Center, where she spends her time being a friend to the elderly.

But Carter made it a point to visit the elderly prior to joining Camellia Hospice in November.

“I do what I can do,” Carter said. “I get a joy out of being around older people.”

Carter said giving time to older people within the community is a gift everyone is called to do.

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