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Retired teacher honored for hospice volunteer work
Jim Norby, a retired educator and Turlock resident, was named Hospice of Emanuel 2010 Volunteer of the Year. - photo by Photo Contributed
Hospice of Emanuel named its 2010 Volunteer of the Year at a ceremony held Feb. 11. Jim Norby, a retired educator and Turlock resident, was given the honorary title and a plaque commemorating his efforts.
Norby has dedicated over 250 hours as a “family visitor” since he began volunteering with Hospice of Emanuel. Hospice of Emanuel provides care for people in the last phases of incurable disease. They help them live as fully and comfortably as possible while maintaining a sense of dignity. Volunteers team with families and ill clients to help them through the entire process of death.
Norby visits the homes and care facilities of the hospice clients. He spends time with them doing whatever leisure activities they enjoy. One client, for example, is a football fan. Norby visits the man every Monday night and they watch Monday Night Football together.
“Jim gives more to his families than he realizes. His devotion to his patients goes above and beyond,” said Sandy Ricardo, support services coordinator for Hospice of Emanuel.
Family visitors do more than just keep clients company, they also provide a few hours of respite for family members and care takers. Family members can use the visit time to do necessary chores or run errands. Norby is also a shoulder to lean on if a caretaker or family member needs someone to talk to.
“Jim is tender, intuitive and a very good listener. He sees and hears things when working with his clients that some people might overlook,” Ricardo said.
Norby worked as a special education administrator with the Stanislaus County Office of Education before his retirement. He has been volunteering with Hospice of Emanuel since January 2007.
Hospice of Emanuel is a service of Emanuel Medical Center. The hospice relies on volunteers for many of its services, including family visits.
“Some volunteers help in the office. Because we stay in contact with families for a year after the death of a loved one, we also need volunteers who can write those letters and make those telephone calls,” Ricardo said.
New volunteers are always needed, and they must attend a two-day informational and training class. The next class is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 13 and March 27. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Volunteers must attend both classes to work with Hospice of Emanuel.
The volunteer training costs $25 and scholarships are available. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, call Sandy Ricardo at 664-2550.