DUNDAS COUNTY – Hike for Hospice has been an annual tradition for Arnold and Karin Scheerder for the past four years, and now in their fifth year joining in the Hike for Hospice they say this fundraiser is more important than ever.
This year’s hike, because of the COVID-19 social/physical distancing restrictions in place, will look different than it has in the past, being a virtual hike.
“Because of the effects COVID is having on people, it’s much harder to ask people for money, but we still have to do something,” says Karin.
“This is an extremely important year,” she says. “Those who can, need to do what we can to help hospice keep all of the programs running.”
Karin first got involved with hospice in 2010 by answering an ad in the newspaper looking for people to participate in a training course to become a visiting volunteer with hospice.
She has been a hospice volunteer ever since.
As a visiting volunteer she usually goes to clients’ homes, but in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, her visiting volunteer services are now done by telephone.
“Now I do conference calls to keep in touch with clients regularly. I currently have three clients that I am staying in touch with.”
Seeing Karin’s enjoyment in her hospice volunteering, Karin’s husband Arnold has also become a hospice volunteer, but in a completely different way than Karin.
While Karin’s strength is the personal interactions with clients, Arnold’s strength is his fundraising experience, so he got involved as a board member, and has been doing so for four years.
This is a perfect example of how hospice has many different volunteering opportunities to fit the strengths of many different people.
While they will miss the traditional Hike for Hospice gathering, Arnold and Karin are looking forward to their virtual hike.
While they encourage past participants to get involved again this year, they hope that this new virtual hike might be appealing to new participants.
“Maybe it will be even more appealing,” said Karin.
With the virtual hike, participants aren’t tied down to a specific time and place.
“You get to choose, when you hike, where to hike, and how far you hike,” said Karin. “You get to do your own thing, that might be more appealing – I hope so.”
The Scheerders might walk around their own property/area with their dog but are hoping to choose a nice day and take a five kilometre hike along an area nature trail.
They will take pictures of their hike, post them to social media and share them with Dundas County Hospice which will also share the photos.
Karin said she has started to ask friends/family to support their walk with donations.
“We’ve always had good support from them in the past and hopefully we will see good support again.”
Donations to Hike for Hospice can be made online or by mailing a cheque directly to Dundas County Hospice in Williamsburg.
Anyone can participate in the virtual hike anytime during the month of May. Visit dundascountyhospice.ca for details about how to participate.