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Name: Fern Brown
Family: Sons, Mike and Steve; daughter, Diana; seven grandchildren.
Residence: Yuba City.
How long have you lived in the Yuba-Sutter area? Since 1958.
Hobbies, interests: Quilting, reading, gardening.
For what groups do you volunteer? I was named the 2012 Rideout Hospice Volunteer of the Year — that surprised me. I've been with hospice for about four years — Sutter North Hospice helped with my husband, Dennis, when he passed away from cancer. It was such a good experience I had with them, I thought it was time for me to do something. I started volunteering about two years after he passed away.
Volunteering with hospice is hard — a lot of people who go through training drop out or something else comes up. And it is very rewarding. I feel good helping people who are in need.
Compassion is the most important thing to have in order to volunteer with hospice, and to love what you're doing.
I also help with the Peach Tree Church of Christ's Peach Tree Singles, for widows and widowers. We meet once a month to do things including at least two charity events a year plus just having fun. Two of us have been "coordinators" for three years.
There's a group of girls I've been teaching to quilt for about two years. Someone said, "I want to learn to quilt," so I said OK and it went from there.
I just started volunteering with A Woman's Friend Pregnancy Resource Clinic. We do things like clean up baby bottle donations, do the pantry for baby clothes, whatever they need.
I'm finishing up the paperwork needed for Hands of Hope and REST for winter. They work together for the homeless.
When my children were young, I helped at the school, with Boy Scouts and Camp Fire Girls — the usual things moms do for their children.
How do you fit volunteering into your schedule? At the beginning of the month, I put my volunteer work first on the calendar and everything else goes around it.
Why be a volunteer? It's very needed, there's never enough volunteers and it's very rewarding. It makes you feel super good.
Can you see yourself not volunteering? No ... it's not an option.
Quote: "Hospice was the only thing I volunteered for before, but I have a couple of extra days so I thought I could fill in someplace where I'm needed."