Volunteering can feel like undervalued work -- but not at Compassion and Choices. Thoughtful training, a super-appreciative staff and meaningful work made all the difference when I came on as a volunteer. This is an organization that recognizes the importance of its supporters and volunteers, and does everything possible to help us give them our best.
I've encountered many compassionate people in the organization who were very helpful.
I'm a cancer patient with concerns. I was given written information as well as many helpful websites. I even got a website for doctors and pharmacists who may require advice.
I can't think of a more deserving organization than Compassionate and Choices to be on your list. I still have cancer, but no longer have questions or fears thanks to the wonderful people at Compassion and Choices.
As a volunteer for Compassion & Choices to help pass "End of Life Option Act" (Death with Dignity), I had the best experience in my 80 years of life. I volunteered almost as a full-time worker, and I met the most wonderful, compassionate people whose goal to help patients achieve their Constitutional right (to choose to end extreme suffering). The law passed and I carry with pride my part in helping. I've done a lot of volunteering in my adult life, and I've never met finer people working toward an extraordinary goal which was achieved.
I consider it a privilege to have worked with such intelligent, helpful people.
The photo is of me at a rally before the law for "Death with Dignity" was passed.
I have been involved with this nonprofit for many years, starting in the early 90s as a member and donor (when the organization had a different name) . In 2011 I began volunteering for Compassion & Choices and it was then that I was able to truly appreciate the value of what this organization does. The mission of this dedicated group of people is to provide the option for a dignified, physician-assisted death for terminally ill individuals, and to give them autonomy and decreased suffering at the end of life. They believe, and I strongly agree, that this choice is a basic human right that should be available to all Americans. They have been successful in making this a reality in several states and are striving to add more states where this humane and compassionate practice is legal. They have also taken up the important cause of preventing unwanted medical treatment, which occurs all too often.
Compassion & Choices should definitely be recognized as a top-rated nonprofit!
If we stand by and watch the pain unfold in a persons life and do nothing about it; then thats our stand.
C&C has rallied a call for Action and I so wish there was such a group I could've offered to a dear friend of mine who had dnr directives in place and ended up 9 weeks starving to death on morphine patches all alone in his apartment controlled by a home hospice who checked in on him daily then left him alone. My Dad didn't know the option of choosing death. Instead he suffered for years declining from liver cancer which finally he gave into. Horrible stories of family members and friends are numerous. My own call to Action is moving terminally ill adults to any state they want to go to regardless of finances or what reasons they have for the move. Movemehome@gmail.com
Review from Guidestar
This organization has been at the forefront for years in teaching folks how to prepare for dying: Advance Directives, withholding invasive treatments where the side effects are sometimes worse than the illness, supporting terminally ill people, and providing consul to folks at the end of their lives. More recently, they have been very active in the legislative side of the right-to-die using medically prescribed drugs. This is an idea whose time has come...and I'M ALL FOR IT. And if someone is not "for it"....that's fine too...but legally we should have a choice. This organization is helpful for anyone who will eventually die...all others should put their money into saving the planet....no sense living forever if the earth doesn't go along with the program!
Compassion and Choices is a powerful non-profit offering advocacy, education, and support to people at the end of their lives. The goal of the organization is to educate, consumers, medical personal, medical entities like hospitals, insurance companies, Hospices, and legislators about Medical Aid in Dying which has been legal in Oregon since 1997.
They also provide direct support to the dying, their families, and their medical providers. In every state in the country. They are an advocacy group that has worked hard to pass Medical Aid in Dying in Oregon, Washington State, Montana, Vermont, California, and are on the ballot in Colorado.
As a national organization they are second to none in utilizing their donations to the maximum. It always amazes me what so few people can accomplish with so little! I nominate them as an outstanding non-profit!!!
I learned about this organization when I was looking for a group that deals with my concerns about having a choice about how I might die. I have had many exchanges with the staff , and I have started working with a group in Clearwater FL. I think these issues are extremely important, and I like the thoughtful, caring way this organization approaches them.
I counsel clients of Compassion & Choices. They are self referred to the local chapter. I engage clients to explore their choices for medical care when they know they have only a few months to live. Their legal options include some that are not normally discussed by Hospice or their physician. I join my fellow volunteers on monthly phone conferences where politics, the law, and state and federal legislation is clarified. My only role in the Compassion and Choices organization is to promote autonomy and liberty for personal choices of medical care at the end of life.
When I raise the subject among friends about personal choice in dying, there is broad agreement that they would like to have control of their death. Since my training as a Compassion & Choices volunteer I have had excellent support from the professional team in being informed before visiting a client and throughout the process of supporting the client. I am pleased that Washington State has followed the Oregon model and am hopeful that my state, Florida will begin to see the light.
Friends sometimes ask me how I can work with clients who are dying. Isn't it difficult? Depressing? Here's my answer: I've been a volunteer with Compassion and Choices for more than four years and find it enriching, important work. Supporting patients and their families at a critical time is rewarding. One of my clients, S., diagnosed with terminal cancer ,wrote the following after finding Compassion and Choices: "I now have the knowledge that I don't have to suffer, and that information is enough to give me a new life. I simply needed to know that I could have control over my life." He died peacefully 20 months later. Whether it's assisting someone to complete an Advance Directive, talk to a doctor about end-of-life wishes, find a hospice, or just to be there to help a client make sense of the dying process, I find my work for Compassion and Choices deeply satisfying.