Don C.

Las Vegas, NV
Nominated by Jennifer Mauceri

Volunteered for:

Nathan Adelson Hospice

Length of Service:

80+ hours per month for 7 years

January 28, 2014

Donald Colbert is an outstanding volunteer with Nathan Adelson Hospice. He is a senior citizen, 86 years of age, who contributes nearly 20 hours a week of his time to helping others. He provides so much support to so many people in our community that we believe he deserves to be publicly recognized for his commitment to brightening and enhancing the lives of others.

Donald Colbert's volunteer work embodies the Nathan Adelson Hospice's vision that no one should end the journey of life alone, afraid, or in pain. In 2013, he spent 916 of his hours making this vision a reality. Most volunteers will be assigned one patient to visit on a weekly basis. However, as in all things Donald does for Nathan Adelson Hospice, he goes well over and beyond any expectations. He visits 2 or 3 patients on a weekly basis and has been doing so for over 7 years. Donald visits individuals to provide support to those with life-limiting illness and their loved ones. He might be lending an ear, providing respite care for a spouse or helping with an activity. It depends on the needs of the individuals and their loved ones.

Hospice care is the model for quality, compassionate care for people facing life-limiting illness and support to their loved ones. It involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient's needs and wishes. At the center of hospice care is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families and loved ones will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so.

In addition to visiting several patients in their homes on a weekly basis, Donald also volunteers to assist with Nathan Adelson Hospice's Meal Delivery Program. This program supports caregivers and patients by ensuring they are eating at least one nutritious meal a day. Caregivers often experience compassion fatigue and generally do not take the time to care for themselves. They experience depression, exhaustion and have poor nutritional habits because they are constantly giving to another person. Nathan Adelson Hospice aspires to make each patient's final days as meaningful as possible. One way to help enhance quality of life is to provide nutritious meals. Once again, Donald embodies the focus of the Nathan Adelson Hospice which is to provide patients with comprehensive and compassionate end-of-life care and support their loved ones.

In 2013, Donald Colbert spent 916 hours volunteering. In addition, he works daily in our medical supply room at our Tenaya facility. Don's diligence in detail in our supply room has saved our company the financial hardship of having to hire additional staffing resources. Don is wonderful in this daily role. Don also assists with volunteer training, and orientation and community outreach. This year Don also took over the volunteer role of delivering donated cake pops to our patients twice a week. This is a welcome visit with a sweet treat and it's all because of Don's gift of his invaluable time.

Whether grocery shopping, bringing someone a nutritious meal, sitting quietly or talking and listening, Donald is one of the most compassionate and caring volunteers the organization has known. Donald provides emotional support to patients with life-limiting illness as well as providing support to their loved ones.

Loni, the wife of one of our patients said, "Donald has changed the quality of my husband's life for the better. He is a wonderful man."

For another patient, Donald gave an unexpected gift. After visiting with the patient George and his wife for a few weeks, he came to learn that the patient George was quite distressed over the fact that he had not painted the outside of his house. It had been a chore that his wife had wanted completed for quite some time, but George had procrastinated and now it looked like he was going to leave this job unfinished, to his great dismay. We mentioned above that Donald goes above and beyond all expectations and in this situation he surprised everyone! At eighty-two years old, Donald painted the outside of the house for this couple. This certainly does not fall within the normal activities performed by Nathan Adelson Hospice volunteers - but is an extreme example to show the dedication, compassion and spirit of such an incredible volunteer.

In addition to his work with patients, new volunteers with Nathan Adelson Hospice can count on Donald to provide guidance and help. When necessary, or as requested, Donald will make visits with new volunteers as they get comfortable with their volunteer role. He is an inspiration to staff and volunteers, helping Nathan Adelson build its capacity to serve.

By assisting patients and loved ones, who are oftentimes caregivers, an invaluable service is being provided in the community. Volunteers like Donald make it possible for Nathan Adelson Hospice to provide patients and their loved ones with excellent end-of-life care. Donald makes a difference in the community because he touches so many lives and is an inspiration to so many.

Donald directly impacts the lives of 50 patients a year plus their loved ones. In addition, he impacts the lives of more than 50 volunteers. Ninety percent of the patients and volunteers that Donald impacts are senior citizens.

Donald has also become a prominent figure at health and informational fairs. He is very knowledgeable about the organization and speaks passionately to others about the cause.

The staff members at Nathan Adelson Hospice depend heavily on Donald - his expertise, experience, dedication and his very big heart. Donald has demonstrated exceptional leadership in providing outstanding support to patients and their families. His excellence is an inspiration for others to strive towards. It is our deepest wish that Donald be recognized for his exceptional service and honored by becoming a National Salute to Senior Service Winner.

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Nominations - 1,060

Votes - 110,781

Prize Description

The National Winner’s designated non-profit charity will receive a $5,000 donation, courtesy of Home Instead, Inc., the franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network. Each Local Winner’s designated non-profit charity will receive a $500 donation. All Winners will receive a certificate and a spot in the Contest’s “Wall of Fame” here on SaluteToSeniorService.com in recognition of their outstanding service.

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