From caregivers and office help to videographers and painters, hundreds of volunteers offer a variety of gifts of service to the patients and staff at Hospice of the Chesapeake. Starting in 2016, there will be one more gift volunteers can give – their voice.
The nonprofit hospice and palliative care organization is forming two Threshold Choirs – the Anne Arundel County Threshold Choir led by Sharon Igoe Von Behren, and the Prince George’s GIFTS Choir, led by Donna Stewart-Moore.
Threshold Choirs sing at the homes and bedsides of hospice patients to bring ease and comfort to those at the thresholds of living and dying. “A calm and focused presence, with gentle voices, simple songs and sincere kindness, can be soothing and reassuring to clients, family and caregivers alike,” the national organization’s website, http://thresholdchoir.org, explains. As of 2014, there were more than 100 chapters of the Threshold Choir in North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. It is Hospice of the Chesapeake’s plan to establish a chapter to serve Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties.
Singers will be asked to participate at least twice a month in a choir practice and give two to four hours a month in song. Though singers will need to have the ability to carry a tune, Von Behren said that there are other needs for each choir, from schedulers to librarians. “I can’t stress this enough – all are welcome. Everyone has a place. Everyone belongs.”
People interested in getting involved can attend one of two informational meetings:
- The Anne Arundel County Threshold Choir — 7 p.m. Jan. 12, John & Cathy Belcher Campus, 90 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena, Maryland.
- The Prince George’s GIFTS Choir — 7 p.m. Jan. 14, Hospice of the Chesapeake’s Prince George’s County office, Suite 250, 9500 Arena Drive, Largo.
For details, contact Kris Carpenter-Zyla at [email protected] or 410.987.2003.