Not long after Casey House opened Glenn Bell’s friends told him about singing Christmas carols around the piano with Maureen Forester. This did not match any preconceived notions he had about a typical day in an AIDS hospice. He asked a lot of questions, and the philosophy at the House caught his attention; the model was so completely unlike how most health care providers seemed to function.
Glenn decided to volunteer himself and says of the process, “I had never seen a volunteer intake process as rigorous and thorough as the one at Casey House. It was like applying for a job, complete with a weekend-long orientation, annual reviews and objective setting. They were serious about their volunteers.”
He says it took a few false starts to find the best way to contribute, eventually connecting with the quilting committee and with fundraising events. And then Glenn became our photographer, “When a group of volunteers rebooted the DQ series, I was helping backstage and brought my camera to record some of the behind the scenes work that goes into making these performances. By the next DQ, I was recording the entire process.”
Glen says he can now say he has found his “home” as a volunteer at Casey House, contributing in a way which makes a difference, even if indirectly, “the common theme is visual story telling. I organize the monthly quilting bees, when we bring together a group of amazingly talented people to create these quilts which pay tribute to the people who have called Casey House their home. And I also tell the stories of the House in photos – illustrating newsletters and annual reports, showing corporate and private donors how their contributions help the House. I’ve had the great privilege of telling many client stories, and I thank them for trusting me with that.”
In celebration of Volunteer Recognition Week, April 10-16, Casey House is featuring volunteers who contribute their time and expertise to help Casey House deliver inspired, compassionate care to men and women living with HIV/AIDS.