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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Hospice Of San Luis Obispo County

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Counseling, Hospices, Human Services, Mental Health

Mission: Hospice of slo provides volunteer support, education, and counseling to those living with life threatening or terminal illness, their families, and the bereaved. Our primary clientele are low to moderate income children, adults, families, and seniors.

Target demographics: the community during end-of-life transition

Geographic areas served: End of Life Assistance / Grief Counseling

Programs: In home care: trained volunteers provide in home emotional and practical assistance to a community memeber with a life threatening illness and their family.

counseling/support group: provide grief support to individuals and families of all ages for all death losses.

training/education: bi-annual training for volunteers on death and dying. Annual training on child and adult grief. Collaborating on community crisis response.

Community Stories

60 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice of San Luis Obispo County is unique with regard to the volunteer services it provides. Volunteers are trained in palliative care practices which focus on family dynamics as well as the health and welfare of the client. These services are not only provided for the terminally ill, but for clients with acute care needs. Volunteers are able to assist with health issues, crisis management and referrals to trained professionals within hospice itself and in the community. In addition, Hospice of San Luis Obispo County has an end of life Doula program which assists clients and families with thoughtful planning and care during life's last stages.

Suzan V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm so excited that Hospice of SLO also includes helping folks with their animals and animal care when health is precarious. These beings are part of the family, and peace of mind when it comes to their care is a wonderful service.

Jeannie P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Hospice volunteer for five different Hospice organizations over the past 12 years, and I am incredibly impressed by the breadth of services provided by this organization. Their status as a Volunteer Hospice allows them to provide services to clients who are not yet diagnosed as being less than six months from death and/or are opting to continue treatments or wait for an organ transplant. This organization has provided me with training as an End-of-Life Doula and opportunities to assist patients and families in order to acquire the experience required to complete my certification. I believe the EOL Doula services alone makes this organization a leader in the movement and provides a missing compliment to Medical Hospices in the community, making the Hospice service in this County far superior to others.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined Hospice SLO a number of months ago as a volunteer and I have been greatly impressed with this wonderful organization! The services offered could not be more important to our community, and the professionalism, kindness and compassion displayed by everyone involved has warmed my heart. I am proud to be involved and hope to have the opportunity to make a greater impact in the years to come.

Lisa Guy
24 year SLO Resident

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for HSLO for more than five years and across the board every member from the top down is client focused. The level of compassion is astounding. I joined them after losing a loved one to lung cancer and seeing how much better the end of life process can be if hospice is there to help guide everyone involved.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice of SLO gets my highest recommendation and has earned my deepest respect and admiration. I completed the extensive volunteer training and am now an active volunteer. The training was rigorous and expansive, and I personally learned so much about the needs of those persons in transition, the caretakers who provide for them, and frankly, my own feelings about my mortality. There was amble processing which informed my volunteer position for sure, but that also allowed me to access my own feelings about death and being prepared for it. They are a very organized and responsive service with dedicated and devoted administration and volunteers. They are deeply concerned and caring for those in need in our community and work with integrity and appreciation for what they are able to provide. As a volunteer I feel supported and appreciated. I am passionate about my work with Hospice SLO and recommend this volunteer and growth opportunity to anyone interested. Bravo and so many thanks!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SLO Hospice is a rare resource in our community. It is a non-medical and non-profit hospice. They offer support and resources to everyone who seeks assistance. I have seen the support clients receive first hand as a volunteer and I am grateful to have this wonderful organization in our community. Check out their website http://www.hospiceslo.org/ and all the resources they offer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to SLO County Hospice as a member of Threshold Choir. I’m amazed by how connected this nonprofit is to the community. They offer a variety of services & events even for those who may not yet be a caregiver, grieving or actively approaching life’s end. I am grateful for the kind & inspiring people I continue to meet through this organization. The work they do is so very meaningful & valuable.

Tracy Karnes L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Going through the volunteer course with SLO hospice was not only an excellent experience, where I met some truly incredible people, but I can away prepared to go into a clients home and provide companionship and witness to an elder in the last year of his life. The services, the SLO Hospice house, and most of all, the people running it all, is remarkable. The care organised and offered is one of uplifting of lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I signed up to be a volunteer after I retired. It was a bucket list item for me. The training program was broad and meaty. It certainly made us think about our own mortality to the point of writing our own eulogies! The organization continues to provide us with ongoing education pre-Covid with classes on Alzheimers, outreach organizations, legal aspects as well as self care classes. SLO hospice is keen on keeping volunteers healthy through yoga, reiki, monthly meetings, volunteer appreciation. They also make sure the client matches work and will make adjustments as needed. There is pretty much an 'open door' for volunteers to obtain support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I trained as an in-home volunteer last year and was so impressed by the professionalism, attention to detail, and most importantly, the empathy, thoughtfulness, and love that goes into every part of this organization. Each person who interacts with HospiceSLO, whether it’s a volunteer or a client, is made to feel important and cared for. Our community is definitely enhanced by having Hospice SLO here!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Integrity. Compassion. Love

In April 2018 I enrolled as a volunteer with HospiceSLO and received 30 hours of expert training in the methods and skills to serve In-Home clients with terminal or severely life-limiting conditions. I was matched with a client with Parkinsons Disease who also suffers with multiple additional medical issues. He and his caregiver have often stated to me how much my four hours per week with him mean for his well-being and for caregiver respite. While I am humbled by this response, my own life has been enriched beyond my expectations through this work.

Later, after my positive experiences with the staff and volunteers of HospiceSLO, I enrolled in another intensive training on how to support and advocate for those near death and actively dying as an End of Life Doula. This further enhanced my understanding of the sanctity not only of life, but of the important and sometimes difficult task of experiencing the end of life.

The fact that HospiceSLO's services are offered free, to anyone in need, is amazing to me. Also amazing are the very professional and caring staff with backgrounds in medical, counseling and therapy fields. It is no wonder they have a growing waiting list of potential clients seeking help. At the same time new volunteer trainings are experiencing greater enrollments, which is gratifying to see and will help shorten the client wait list. But........

As I write this review the world is fighting the coronavirus pandemic, which has impacted everyone's lives. HospiceSLO's fundraisers, grants, donations and sponsorships, the only sources of operating income, have dropped significantly as a result. Programs for clients and trainings for willing volunteers have been cut back and some paid staff have been furloughed. Yet the remaining dedicated staff are taking on extra duties and doing everything possible to guide us, as they have since my first volunteer training, with integrity, compassion and love.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Hospice SLO County staff are a phenomenal group of compassionate and selfless people. They provide training for in-home volunteers and end of life vigils as well as many other services related to end of life and grieving, which have helped many, many people. All their services are provided to the public completely free. A valuable gem in our community.

Read more

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with HSLO for more than three years. The training was superb. The assignments to individuals in need were very fulfilling. I have attended to the respite care needs of individuals and their primary caregivers and have assisted individuals up to the point of their passing who otherwise would have suffered without companionship. HSLO’s clients never need to be concerned about paying for HSLO’s services because all we do is provided at no charge. If you want to make a difference in your community to deliver benefits that will last for years into the future, sign up and donate today!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for HSLO for over a year as a Pet Peace of Mind volunteer and an in-home volunteer, I have seen up close the dedication of the staff and volunteers and the positive effect the programs have had on my client’s health, safety, and ability to stay in her home with her beloved pets.

1 1dogwilldo

Client Served

Rating: 5

More then a support group, counseling service, and auction fun fundraiser SLOHOSPICE is a local community. They have become an extended family for me as I develope my grief coping skills. "Virtual gatherings" have kept us safe and supported during the recent Covid-19 quarantine. The resources they provide me are unlimited: Word of mouth referrals, encouragement, literature, compassion, and common purpose.

RebeccaLilley

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice of San Luis Obispo County provides training and placement for companionship and emotional support volunteers with terminally-ill members of the community. My family and I received the benefits of this organizations' mission when my father was dying of cancer in 2005. Now, I am a hospice in-home volunteer and so enjoying my weekly time with my client. The training and support I have received from Hospice of San Luis Obispo is invaluable. I have learned so much about end-of-life support and acceptance. This non-profit is like no other and is so important to so many people who can not always express their gratitude.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm absolutely in love with Hospice of San Luis Obispo County. I just finished the in-home volunteer training to learn more about the organization and the folks who benefit from its services. What I learned: HSLO serves all of us -- in the most kind, capable, altruistic way imaginable. HSLO is a beautiful example of how to treat each other -- in life as well as near life's end. I'm delighted to know our community is in such wonderful hands, and I'm honored to serve Hospice SLO in any way I can.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with Hospice of San Luis Obispo for about 4 years. I can't fully describe the satisfaction I have being a respite provider for clients and caregivers. People find it hard to believe that I receive more than I give. These wonderful clients show me what love, commitment, strength and perserverence are. They have added so much to my life and I hope I add just as much to their's. Hospice of SLO is the catalyst and I think they are doing a great job and service to this community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Hospice volunteer for many years and taken numerous trainings, and this organization has a great volunteer training program!! The instructors are well informed, classes were interesting and all the staff kind and humorous, so I highly recommend them to anyone in need of their services. FYI, this is the only non-medical Hospice in SLO, which allows them to serve more people than the ones that are Medicare funded.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an amazing group, need to spread the word. Volunteers are in the home to support clients and families and are so needed to support families to take care of themselves and are FREE. All the services provided have no charge. The training for these dedicated folks is amazing and very thorough. Leadership is always available to support and help volunteers. The Doula group provide support and are with client and family/friends as the end of the clients walk draws near. I have never met a group of more dedicated folks that reach out into the community to provide support, encouragement and caring, and also care for each other. The individual/group counseling and the many special programs (Reiki, drumming, stress/relaxation, meditation) to mention a few. What a wonderful asset to the community.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been attending a grief therapy group at the Volunteer Hospice as well as a Training Class to become a Hospice Volunteer as my own heart heals. Everyone at Hospice is interested in serving the community and taking good care of the volunteers. When I walk over the threshold at the front door before group or my class I always find myself thinking "I am home."

hotcherry

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hospice SLO County nurses and volunteers are known for their compassion and expertise in their work with end-of-life patients. However, my experience has been working with the unsung heroes of the office staff. My company worked with the HSLO staff to create a successful fundraiser last year, and I have only wonderful things to say about them. Kris Kington-Barker and her associates were prompt to reply to emails, efficient in producing quality newsletters, and effective in getting their supporters to join in a, previously unknown product, promotion. Their professionalism and success in doing so meant together we created a win-win-win situation, where even the patients directly benefited.

J'Nelle Holland, owner Hot Cherry Therapeutic Pillows

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband died13 years ago. During the year of his illness, the Hospice support group helped me stay sane as everything seemed to crumbling around me. Members of that support group still get togethe roccasionally. Each of our lives has taken a different direction, but the bonds we established thanks to Hospice have kept us connected.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My aunt, who is 88 years old, had to move into a memory care facility after breaking her hip. Her nephew and I moved her from OR to CA to live near me. However, she could not keep her pet. Her cat, Buffie, is almost 13 years old. I was unable to find a home for Buffie in OR, and was unwilling to leave her in a shelter to take her chances. So I brought her on the plane with me down to CA. A friend suggested that I contact Hospice SLO Pets to help find her a home. I didn't know Hospice offered this service! Two staff members at Hospice got the ball rolling. Sidney put together a photo and a blurb about Buffie, and Shannon put the word out in the Hospice newsletter and other announcements. Although Buffie is elderly and has to take daily medication, a wonderful family responded and adopted her. I am very grateful to Hospice SLO Pets, and happy for Buffie in her new home!

1 Nanette M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an in-home volunteer for HospiceSLO and cannot say enough about how caring and dedicated this group is. The volunteers receive excellent training from knowledgeable staff. They are very thoughtful when matching volunteers with clients and are always available to discuss a case, give input and perspective and assist volunteers in any way possible. They are interested in the volunteer’s journey every step of the way as well as in providing the best care possible for clients. The types of services offered are amazing, from pet peace of mind to reiki to grief support groups to providing in-home care and caregiver respite.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Knowing that there is such a wonderful organization ready, willing, and able to assist clients in this time of need absolutely warms my heart. Very thankful for all that volunteer.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hospice SLO County does what other agencies can't and also works closely with other area resources to help people with life limiting illness and their family caregivers. The caring volunteers and staff make it so my loved ones have been able to get the care and resources they need all free of charge.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Provides a no charge service in supporting the community through end of life and bereavement counselling

1 Horsedancer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice SLO gives an exceptional and unusual range of services in the county. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, compassionate and are wonderful advocates for those in need of hospice services. They are a gem in the community and we are so fortunate to have them based here in SLO.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I arrived to the Volunteer training nervous with many questions - who would be there, what would this training be like, what emotions would it bring up, and was I prepared to move forward with volunteering at this time. Right from the beginning, it became clear that this was going to be a positive, powerful, excellent, and engaging group and training.

I have been both a participant, and also a leader, for many different types of trainings for decades. The training for Hospice SLO was superb in every way: the level of knowledge, respect, compassion and warmth towards volunteers and hospice recipients is present in each and every segment of the training. The thoroughness of preparation for volunteers is deeply caring, and exemplary.

From a personal perspective, I found this training to be deeply healing. I have experienced many deaths in my life, and although I have spent much time healing and moving through losses, being with a compassionate, knowledgeable group in this manner who are desiring to use their experiences for service is inspiring, profoundly soothing and healing. I am looking forward to participating in many of the programs.

My training at Hospice SLO was everything I hoped and much more. I felt uplifted, supported and ready to move forward with volunteering.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer in the front office with Hospice of SLO County. I was looking for a place to volunteer that made a difference. Hospice of SLO County makes a difference . The office staff and counselors I work with are really helpful and kind. The people who work at the office really care about the people who come in for service.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice of SLO County is a most remarkable organization. Their 40+ yr legacy of quality and commitment comes through in all they do. They offer a complete range of Hospice related information and services - some of which I never knew about until I started working with them, like Reiki, cognitive care, Yoga Nidra, and Pet Peace of Mind. The employees and volunteers are true humanitarians. If you need them, they are there to help and connect you to services. If you are interested in volunteering, you will find no greater fulfillment and purpose than the work you can do with them. Their training is comprehensive and so thoroughly enjoyable. It has been a great honor to train and work with them.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5


Shannon McOuat, Director of Volunteer Services, Hospice of San Luis Obispo County is the soul of our Hospice program. She knows the importance of being present for everyone; her grasp on the resiliency of the human spirit, her dependability, approachability and humility have shaped her into a true asset to our community.

Shannon has set a tone of respect and compassion to the hundreds of those struggling to find their way through the maze of death. We are all better off because of her.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice of SLO County has one of the most amazing and helpful team of staff members! The services they provide are incredible and they make sure to act as a community resource for those who need some guidance when dealing with life-limiting illnesses, grief, or death. The counseling team and support group leaders are exceptional as well as the care management team!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was deeply concerned about my daughter and grandson after the suicide of my granddaughter. I briefly considered seeking the services of private therapists in the area however I kept hearing that for grief counseling, regardless of of the cause of death, Hospice San Luis Obispo County was the place to seek support and service. There was very little wait to see someone and both my daughter and grandson found the staff warm, professional and knowledgeable. I am so grateful this organization was available to us.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I took the training to become an in home volunteer two years ago. Since that time I have been providing respite care for a wonderful client and his wife. He is not at the end of his life. However, he is challenged by life changing dementia and various illnesses which cause physical decline. I have the privilege of sharing some of this journey with him. Also, I can give his caregiver a shoulder and an ear when she needs support. In truth, I feel that I get back much more than I give .

I have also been a volunteer for the fundraiser, Bingo Bonanza. It really is a '"FUN- raiser", as much as a fundraiser....what a blast!

Lately, I have been helping out in the office once each week. It is my pleasure to help others with clerical tasks which frees them to provide their valuable services. And all of these valuable services are FREE!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice of SLO County plays a critical role in the lives of the members of our community. The many offerings of support groups and individual counseling cover a wide range of services to aid individuals dealing with life-altering changes. The caring and sensitive practitioners provide support and comfort when most needed. Training for those who wish to volunteer their services is available to broaden the scope of the program and encourages a vital dynamic for those in need of assistance during difficult periods of their lives. The many volunteers associated with Hospice of SLO County provide services free of charge to community members and do their best to improve the conditions of those in need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice of San Luis Obispo county staff thoroughly trains its volunteers in the complexities and sensitivities surrounding end of life. The scope of the training is holistic, including education about the dying process, family dynamics, cultural practices/preferences, diet, socialization, spirituality, durable medical equipment, non-medical solutions to pain/anxiety management and more. The staff does a great job of pairing volunteers to clients, plus they are always available for support and education. Hospice of SLO coordinates with other professional organizations that might be a part of the client's team, such as medical hospice, in-home healthcare providers and agency caregivers (just to name a few). This coordination is an exceptionally powerful benefit to both the client and their family/friends , allowing them to concentrate on each other rather than arranging help. In closing, it is an honor to work beside the staff at Hospice of SLO - their commitment to clients, volunteers and the community is humbling and stellar.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice of San Luis Obispo County is an amazing organization that cares about the well being of their volunteers. The compassion that I have learned from Hospice is something that I will take with me for the rest of my life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer for HSLO on a regular basis. HSLO’s central purpose is to ease life-limiting illnesses, dying and the grief that follows. Too many people in our society face death alone, and when primary caregivers are in place, a little bit of help (on occasion, just to get caregivers out of the house for a couple of hours) goes a very, very long way. I am able to see an exponential return on the investment of time and energy. I also believe that HSLO is properly administered by first-rate qualified professionals who provide on-going training of volunteers, who are aware of the need to define and set the parameters of volunteer activities and who simultaneously are on the lookout to expand HLSO’s reach for the benefit of the community. For all this, HSLO CHARGES NOTHING for its services. It doesn’t get any better than that.

From my vantage point, it seems to me that HSLO’s primary difficulty is the recruitment and retention of volunteers. This circumstance is made more difficult by the current economy and very low unemployment numbers. My suggestion is that HSLO seek the input of its current volunteers about this issue. I would pursue highlighting HSLO’s profile in the community and budget for that expense. This would help in recruiting volunteers and in HSLO’s outreach to potential clients who need and deserve support and assistance as they confront life’s final challenge.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer and have found SLOH to be staffed by caring and committed employees and dedicated, well-trained volunteers. I couldn't have found a better organization to be involved with. Thank you SLOH!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Participated in a caregiver support group for 2 or 3 years. This helped me get through some very stressful times. The leaders, Roslyn and Kathy, as well as all the group members, helped me gain insight into my role as a caregiver. The support I received enabled me to find the courage to place my spouse in an assisted living facility and find time to "become a real person" again. I was in a terrible state when I started working with the group and now I am able to cope with life again. My husband is also in a better place and is aware of what I was going through. I am still involved with the support group, and now I feel like I am able to give back to its new members.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hospice of SLO County literally saved me when my daughter and her husband were murdered thirty-one years ago. I attended the General Bereavement Group (which is all there was back then). I do not know how anyone survives loss without their help. I have had other losses since then and always attend a group. For a few years I have been a group facilitator and now try and give back. This is the best organization!!!! Charlotte Wood, Los Osos

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice SLO county is an all volunteer hospice, so the training and recognition given to volunteers is a big part of the whole experience of volunteering. Having volunteered with many non-profits in my life time, I can honestly say that Hospice SLO is the BEST non-profit I've ever worked with in terms of training and recognition of its volunteers. In addition, the personal and professional rewards and learnings you get by being involved in this type of work are immense and life changing.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

HOSPICE SAN LUIS OBISPO is an outstanding organization. My husband recently passed away after a long illness and I was able to work through my grief and sadness with the expert guidance of Roslyn Strohl and Kathy Murphy. They cofacilitated our caregivers group which met every other week for almost 3 years. We had a wonderful group of 12 ladies who were all very interactive and supportive. I feel my transition to widowhood would not have been as positive as it has been, if I had not had the expert guidance and care offered by Roslyn and Kathy. Thank you Roslyn and Kathy and all the dear ladies who participated in our group. Sincerely, Shiela Schraub

Dianne T.1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have 7 resorts in the Caribbean - certificates to these 4 star all-inclusive resorts includes all meals, drinks and non motorized sports - for fundraising for non profits. there are costs involved so you would need to call me so I can tell you about them. the certificated are good until Dec 2019. they are good for 7-10 nights for up to 3 rooms.

Participating resorts include: The Verandah Resort and Spa, Antigua; St. James’s Club & Villas, Antigua; Pineapple Beach Club Antigua; Palm Island Resort & Spa, The Grenadines; St. James’s Club Morgan Bay, Saint Lucia; The Club, Barbados Resort & Spa; and Los Establos Boutique Inn, Panama.
call Dianne Tuttle 805-781-2630

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Hospice SLO for 16 years and they get better and better, always looking at how best to serve the community. From their free individual and group bereavement counseling to in home volunteer care to community crisis response to pet peace of mind, the staff is professional, caring, and heartfelt. A volunteer hospice, their training is superb and volunteers are supported and valued. With a small staff, a huge service is offered for people facing illness or the loss of a loved one. Their ongoing education programs help the community deal with life, death, and dying. Their website photo, people with arms around each other, illustrates their values and orientation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an intern at the Hospice of San Luis Obispo. As I have come to learn how things run at the Hospice of SLO, I have to say it was one of the best and most well run elder care organizations. All the staff are very experienced, knowledgeable, positive, and patient.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Warm fellowship, a caring staff, and a cozy environment make this organization a wonderful place to volunteer. My tasks primarily involve administrative and secretarial-type functions in support of the staff and counselors. Little things that seem to make their jobs easier, and they are always so kind in letting me know that it does! I am often the first to greet those arriving for counseling, and enjoy and have benefitted from the chance to touch their lives by something as simple as a nice and caring greeting. Have particularly liked the way the staff here have gone out of their way to make me feel a real part of this organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The scenario (pick one): Your child's high school student committed suicide; a family member or your best friend just died after a long struggle with cancer; a family member or friend died suddenly and unexpectedly; your spouse died; your pet died: you or loved one is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness; etc. Any one of these scenarios result in you "having the worst day of your life." You are overwhelmed with grief, you can't take nourishment, can't sleep, can't think, can't stop crying, and basically can't function at all. Someone mentions Hospice of San Luis Obispo County and provides your with the phone number. You make the call and immediately you are embraced with sincere kindness, compassion, and understanding. You are connected to counseling and support groups who guide and support you in coping with your loss or pending loss. Hospice of SLO County is a non-medical hospice with a focus on respite care, social and practical support. All the services are provided free-of-charge to children and adults by experienced professionals and trained hospice volunteers. First hand, as a board of directors member, I have observed the dedication of the administrative staff, the professional staff, the volunteers, and fellow board members. They are passionate about fulfilling the mission of Hospice of SLO County. Hospice of SLO County is where the healing begins.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I volunteer for Hospice SLO County for their Pet Peace of Mind program. Through this program, we’ve fostered a beautiful shih tzu Toby, whose owner went into hospice care in 2013 when she was no longer able to care for Toby. Toby was severely neglected when we began fostering him in 2013, at 14 years old. Our friends who saw this poor dog didn’t think he’d survive more than six months.

The goal was to find a “forever home” for Toby, but placing an old dog with ongoing medical expenses is next to impossible. We regretted not being in a financial position to do adopt him ourselves. But Hospice Pet Peace of Mind stepped up to it graciously and dependably, paying his ongoing and costly medical bills.

Toby is now 18 and still loves his walks, food, and being around other dogs and people. He brings a smile to so many people we encounter. Hospice has also loaned us a very nice dog stroller to use for him on our walks, when his arthritic limbs protest.

Toby brought many smiles to my son’s face this year as Jeff lived with us during his cancer battle. I feel that Toby was part of the healing energy and process for Jeff.

We’ve given Toby a lot of love and good care, but without the loving care and financial support of Hospice Pet Peace of Mind, this beautiful animal would not survive.

Hospice is a life saver, on so many levels, and the people we’ve dealt with are deeply caring individuals.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was referred to Hospice SLO County by my private therapist whom I was seeing because I was struggling with the death of my mother. My therapist said " you could benefit from having a crying buddy " and hearing from others who are going through the same thing.

The facilitators were so sincere at explaining that tears were welcome. That tears meant the people we lost mattered. That for every tear we cry, we heal a little more. The tears need to come out. This was a safe place where that can happen. That was very consoling to me.

Part of the group structure is that we can tell our stories about our loved ones over and over and over again. This is the place that doesn't get tired of hearing it from you. And the stories need to be told. This made the group very personal.

An important point that I learned is that I'm not trying to get *over* my mother's death. I trying to get through it. I don't want to get *over* it. I'll never be *over* it, but I can heal and become "me" again.

I would heartily encourage them to try out the group. Come to a meeting. No pressure to talk. Just listen if you want to. I would tell them that they would find comfort in being in a group that truly understood the emotional and physical pain of grief, and that the group would be of great support through the journey ahead, without judgement.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HSLO is the only volunteer hospice in SLO county, and I have volunteered there since 2006. HSLO supports its volunteers, clients and caregivers with valuable services, all at no cost. I have worked with hundreds of clients in my time with HSLO, and experienced first-hand the gratitude and the appreciation of clients who discover the range of our services. Whether HSLO is educating the community and reaching out to those who grieve, or offering respite during the most difficult times in our lives, it offers a special and extraordinary level of care and heart.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work as a volunteer in the office answering telephones, greeting people, and helping with various office projects. All the people at Hospice of SLO - both volunteers and paid staff - are extremely dedicated to helping people in any way they can. They are very caring and sensitive to individual and family needs. It is a pleasure working with all of them.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my husband died, I coped. I'm a good 'coper'. A woman I knew only slightly took me aside one day and said, "I know you think you can handle this. You probably can, but it will be better if you go to some meetings." She took me to my first Grief Support meeting sponsored by Hospice of San Luis Obispo County. I continued to go for almost three years. The facilitators were comfortable and comforting. It was a welcoming place to come to cry and laugh. We were all made aware that there was more help available. Individual counseling could be had at no charge. Some members came to group; some to individual therapy; some used both. Other facilitators were sometimes brought in. All were obviously trained and empathetic. Even when someone was having a particularly bad time, one always felt the safety of their ability to handle the situations that arose. We became friends. With their help, we held each other up. I brought newly grieving widows into their care, even after I had left. I shall remain forever grateful they were there when I was at my worst.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have seen many people benefit from the many services Hospice SLO County has to offer. I think that all of our clients take something valuable away from the experience with Hospice as well.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice SLO County is a well-run non-profit that has stellar staff and dedicated volunteers. The counselors are top notch and every donation - no matter how small - is acknowledged and fully appreciated. The organization provides free support to those dealing with loss as well as workshops and classes to help those in the role of caregivers. Volunteers provide in-home respite relief for caregivers and end-of-life doula services, in addition to pet peace-of-mind services. Free counseling in the form of individual and group sessions are available and the counselors bring their services to the community (schools, etc.) when a group is dealing with loss.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at Hospice SLO has been such a positive impact on my life. Being in a professional environment where every person clearly cares for others has opened me up to a world of compassion. The staff and other volunteers are uniquely understanding and willing to reach to fit the needs of others, yet remain professional. I admire everyone involved with Hospice SLO and would recommend their services to anyone looking for the type of support we offer.