Testimonial to the Value of Teen Volunteers Michael and Emily Tibbetts
The following text was excerpted from a letter written by the wife of a hospice patient at The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast about the impact of a teen volunteer being paired with her son.
"My husband Andrew is a hospice patient and our adopted son, George, has been having a difficult time coping with Andrew’s illness. George is very quiet and although he has friends, he does not express his feelings openly and is very shy. When I was offered a teen volunteer to help mentor George, I must admit I did not think it would help much. Boy, was I wrong.
Although Michael Tibbetts was the one assigned to volunteer with our family, his sister Emily has been involved too. Michael has been visiting George weekly and even though he is so reserved, Michael has a way of making him feel comfortable. They work on homework together and Michael will take George and his friends to get ice cream or play sports. Over the holidays, George went over to Michael’s house and made cookies and participated in some of their family festivities. George looks forward to his visits and because of his dedication, Michael is slowly building a rapport and a trust. It is impacting how George approaches everything from his school work to our family.
While the things they have accomplished for George are wonderful, they have also been a godsend to me. Michael helps me when I cannot figure out my computer and has given me many lessons. He has done yard work for us and other things around the house, which do not get done often enough now that Andrew is ill. Michael also helps my husband by just sitting and talking to him sometimes.
These two special teenagers could have done so many other things with their time but they chose to help us…"
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