- Why have people come from all over the world, to volunteer at a North Carolina Hospice?
- How does it feel to watch a loved one spend their last days in a hospice?
- What is necessary to give someone unconditional love during their final days?
- What does watching people die teach hospice volunteers about learning how to live?
"Caring for people, caring about people. Seeing people as individuals whether they were their grocery store clerks or the policeman on the corner, a patient here or a neighbor; to see people as people and not just as objects to deal with, but to try to see people as individuals, and work on human relationships, not on these other things that don't matter."
--Francis McLendon a volunteer at Human Service Alliance on what is important in life
What does it mean to give unconditional love? On this episode of Humankind with David Freudberg, we search for answers on a moving visit to an all-volunteer Hospice in North Carolina where all patients receive free care. Human Service Alliance, formed in 1986, established this six bed hospice, supported by donations, with an all-volunteer staff of doctors and non-professionals. The patients are referred to as guests, and volunteers attempt to treat the guests with unconditional love, and to serve them whether by listening, holding a hand or being there to make their last days as comfortable as possible. Some guests at the hospice were convinced that there was no place else like it on earth . People whose loved ones received care at Human Service Alliance, feel that it made a dramatic difference in their final days. The volunteers explain the challenges they faced caring for the terminally ill, but also the moments of joy and kindness that they shared while providing loving service to hospice guests. A truly inspirational look at what it means to give love to your fellow human beings.
Total time: 29 minutes