Give someone a ‘Gift of a Day’

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If you had a chance to make someone’s final days extra special, how would you help?

Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care in Dayton seeks volunteers to help support its signature Gift of a Day program, which brings to life a hospice patient’s personal vision of what a perfect day might be.

This Crossroads Hospice volunteer opportunity is based on the question: “If you had one perfect day, what would it look like?” The answer has led to a flight in a vintage Air Force biplane for a World War II veteran, a blues legend’s return trip to Beale Street in Memphis for a special performance, and a horse and carriage ride around a scenic lake for a former equestrienne.

Hospice volunteers helped create these special memories — and many more like them — for Crossroads patients. Crossroads volunteers play a vital role in caring for some of the 1.5 million American families with a loved one on hospice care. Many volunteers find assisting with a Gift of a Day to be a particularly meaningful experience.

One teen-aged volunteer and her bichon frise recently joined five other dog owners and their pets to pay a special Gift of a Day visit to a patient who loved dogs and missed keeping them. Amid much tail-wagging and laughter, the young volunteer said seeing the joy her visit brought to the man was a deeply touching experience that helped her grow as a person.

In addition to helping with a Gift of a Day, volunteers are welcome to share their favorite activities like reading, playing cards or other games, listening to music, or arts and crafts. They might also help create a life journal for a patient and his/her family, a beautiful leather-bound keepsake of meaningful moments and milestones. Or they may choose to run errands, assist in the office, or make companion visits and provide a welcome respite for family members.

“We call our volunteers ‘ultimate givers’ because they selflessly give extra comfort and compassion to terminally-ill patients and their families,” said volunteer Manager Krissy McKim-Barker. “They have an incredible willingness to help and learn, and they gain so much from the experience.”

For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, contact McKim-Barker at 937-312-3170 or [email protected], or visit

Before becoming a Crossroads Hospice “Ultimate Giver,” participants must complete an application, TB skin test, and training session led by members of the Crossroads team. Potential volunteers must wait a minimum of one year after the death of an immediate family member or loved one before applying.

Submitted by Courtney Rice, SPRYTE Communications.

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