Nursing '68 Alum received 2009 Volunteer of the Year at Aurora Visiting Nurse Association (VNA)

Sarilee Maney was awarded Aurora VNA Volunteer of the Year 2009 on November 24, 2009.

When asked why she volunteers her time and talents at Aurora VNA Zilber Family Hospice, Sarilee said, "With my background in nursing, I've always had a deep compassion for people who are suffering. After I retired, I was looking for something meaningful to do. I had been exposed to hospice care many years ago and was impressed with that approach to end-of-life care. 

The following is an excerpt from her nomination letter.

As a VNA Zilber Family Hospice volunteer member, she helps out wherever she can- even with washing dishes and food preparation. She also visits with the patients, spending much of her time in conversation, prayer, hand-holding or whatever the patient/family needs at that time. 

She uses her knowledge and experience to train new volunteers and serve as a mentor and friend for them. 

An additional component of her service is in the Volunteer Vigil Program, in which a team of on-call volunteers will help keep watch with our patients who are very near death and have no family support available to them. When a 4 year old patient was very close to the end of his life, volunteers sat with him around the clock for two days and nights. On her final shift, Sarilee picked him up, held him in her lap and rocked him, singing softly. He chose his arms as the place to take his final breath. 

Mary Haas, Volunteer Coordinator says "All of our volunteers are outstanding, but Sarilee is something special."