From Retired to Reenergized: Hospice Volunteer Coordinator Angi Dodge

After retiring from 34 years as an elementary school teacher, you might think Angi Dodge would be ready for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. But four years ago, an opportunity presented itself to return to the workforce. Angi’s daughter, Jentry, is a hospice nurse and when she learned of the opening for the EveryStep Hospice Volunteer Coordinator the Mount Ayr team and the Greater Regional Hospice Home (GRHH) in Creston, she encouraged her mom to apply.

Angi did and she loves her job. “It is an honor to arrange visits, coordinate education and provide the tools to volunteers to help others,” says Angi. She loves seeing the volunteers work with the patients and families to develop good rapport and relationships. “Making someone’s journey joyful and fulfilling is a wonderful thing to experience,” she says.  “I enjoy helping others have quality of life, comfort and dignity for as long as they are alive.”

Angi likes working with veterans, and she thinks the veteran pinning ceremonies the staff and veteran volunteers perform are very meaningful for the veteran patients and their families. She loves the idea that we can celebrate their military service and thank the patients for protecting our freedoms.  

In her spare time, Angi loves to read, work in her flower garden, go to grandkids’ activities and spend time with her five wonderful grandchildren. She lives with her husband Darrell in Mount Ayr. They have two grown daughters and two sons-in-law (one son, Ben, is deceased). Angi and Darrell used to take an RV all over the country during the summers when they both were teaching. Angi has been in 49 states and has enjoyed seeing their diversity of landscapes and cultures.

Angi believes a big misconception about hospice is that it’s all about death. “It is really all about life, and what we can do to make that precious time the best that it can be for both patient and family,” she says.

One highlight of her job as an EveryStep Hospice volunteer coordinator has been getting to know over 70 volunteers from four different counties. She wants her volunteers to know how much she appreciates their timely visits and the efforts they put into enhancing the quality of someone’s life. Many of the volunteers have remarked how much they gain out of helping someone through this part of their life journey. Angi agrees, saying, “Volunteering is a gift to others, but it also provides many intrinsic rewards to the giver.”