Alexandria, VA — Volunteer Elves are busy this holiday season helping local hospice patients, the most vulnerable in our community. These dedicated volunteers serve year-round at Capital Caring Health, where they help patients who are facing a life-limiting prognosis.
Volunteers provide companionship, assistance with grocery shopping, celebrating birthdays with personalized birthday cakes, and much more. For many hospice patients and their families, the holidays can be an especially difficult time. Capital Caring Health volunteers start planning in September for creative ways to bring joy during the holidays to patients and their loved ones. These volunteers have found creative ways to make this happen, despite the restrictions of life during the pandemic.
Capital Caring volunteers have involved the community with the collection of holiday stockings. Bunco groups, pickleball players, book clubs, sororities, and individuals are among those who have embraced this opportunity to bring light and joy to hospice patients. Over 250 overflowing holiday stockings have been collected, with more coming in daily. The stockings have been filled with items such as lotion, candy, socks, word games, mini flashlights etc. There are special stockings for pediatric patients.
Volunteer and Community Manager Katherine Knoble, who coordinates outreach programming, calls this group of volunteers The Elf Squad. According to Knoble, “Our volunteers are passionate about providing compassionate care to our patients and their families. Instead of the normal physical hugs, these stockings are a way of showing genuine care.”
The Elf Squad recently met outside of the Capital Caring Health office to collect stockings to deliver to each patient’s home. The holiday stockings come with special handmade cards with personal words of cheer and encouragement from a volunteer elf. Lorraine Krause, Capital Caring Health Social Worker, calls these volunteers “true angels.” Maria McKain, also a CCH Social Worker, works with volunteers to help personalize these gifts.
Capital Caring Health is a non-profit organization providing care for 1400 patients daily. If you would like information about volunteering at Capital Caring Health, please contact [email protected].