In the true spirit of hospice and palliative care, which bring comfort to those in need, two HopeWest volunteers, Colleen Garcia and Debbie Decker, are making a difference in the lives of patients one haircut at a time. Their simple acts of kindness here in western Colorado aren’t just a service, they are meaningful gestures of human connection and compassion.

Debbie Becker’s journey as a volunteer started three years ago, influenced by her father’s experience with hospice care. Her father, who passed away in 2019, was initially hesitant to accept hospice services, seeing them as a final resort. However, Debbie’s family discovered the broader scope of hospice care — not just as an end-of-life service but as a means to enhance quality of life. This revelation led Debbie to volunteer at HopeWest, where she found a meaningful way to contribute using her life-long skills as a hairdresser.

For Debbie, each haircut is more than just a routine task; it’s a chance to lift someone’s spirits. “I’ve improved someone’s day simply by giving them a haircut,” she shares. “By the time I leave, the patient and I have become friends. It’s a great way to get connected in your community if you’re not already.”

Colleen Garcia, a HopeWest volunteer for eight years, believes in using her skills for helping others rather than just for profit. Her experience has been filled with rewarding moments and lasting friendships. “I’ve cut some patients’ hair for up to 3 years,” Colleen recalls, showing how personal connections are often formed through volunteering regularly.

Both Debbie and Colleen’s stories are testaments to the impact volunteers can have on the lives of hospice patients and their families. Their haircuts offer more than just a service; they provide comfort, dignity, and a sense of normalcy to those facing end of life challenges.

Whether it’s one haircut a month, or one a week, HopeWest invites Colorado licensed stylists and barbers to join their team of compassionate volunteers. A short training program is provided, ensuring that all volunteers are prepared and comfortable in their roles.

To those considering this opportunity, remember the words of Colleen: “If you have extra time on your hands, and you have the ability to help somebody, why not? It comes back around. Someday it might be you or a family member in need of a helping hand.”

Join HopeWest in their mission to bring comfort and care to those in need. Reach out today, and be part of the journey.

Interested in volunteering at HopeWest?

“I’ve improved someone’s day simply by giving them a haircut. By the time I leave, the patient and I have become friends. It’s a great way to get connected in your community if you’re not already.”

– Debbie Becker, HopeWest Volunteer

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