A Volunteer’s Spirit
Wings volunteers represent tangible evidence of hope and survival. Their spirit strengthens sometimes simply by their presence or by fulfilling a specific need or request.
“We listen to allay fears.”
“We touch to comfort.”
“We tell our own stories to give strength.”
“We create a circle of friends and a support network.”
“We partner with one another.”
“Together, we provide physical, emotional, social and spiritual support.”
These are all quotes from Wings Volunteers
Working as a Volunteer
- Pay attention to the other person (body, mind and spirit).
- Let this person know that you acknowledge their uniqueness as an individual.
- Human warmth and kindness expresses connection. Look at them with gentle eyes.
- Allow things to be just as they are.
Ways to convey caring : what to say when you wish to comfort another person
- Ask permission. “Would it be okay if I called you tonight?”
- Ask specific ways to help. Share information about resources available through Wings.
- Restate to make sure you understand. “Would you like me to get you a cup of coffee?”
- Get to know their interests.
- Practice active listening. Give them a chance to give you advice or tell their story.
- Speak from the heart or not at all.
Some phrases to open conversations: A few suggestions to guide you
- So, you feel….
- I’m picking up that you….
- It’s like….
- So, you think…
- Ask open ended questions: what, how, could, why
Some tips on Setting Boundaries:
- Be a caring observer. Let the experience be theirs, listen attentively and remain compassionate.
- Avoid trying to “fix” other people’s problems.
- Be aware of others’ extreme dependence on you.
- Learn to say no.
- Be aware of your own opinions, beliefs and emotional responses.
- Take active responsibility for your own personal care.
- Pay attention when stress increases, you obsess about the care of the person you are helping or you feel the desire to take over.