Volunteer Spotlight: Jamie Singleton
Jamie started volunteering at Midland Care in 2013 as part of Washburn University’s Bonner program. She has worked in the full continuum of care, starting at the PACE center helping seniors live independently. She later started spending evenings at The House and afternoons helping with the volunteer program and facilitating grief groups for children. In the summer, she helps with Hearts of Hope Camp and Youth Corps.
She is most passionate about serving children in groups. New children’s groups at Midland Care allow children who have experienced loss to come together and heal. Jamie works with children 8 to 12 years old in weekly groups. She has known many of the children throughout her time volunteering at Midland Care. Children who attend Hearts of Hope Camp often return to groups during the school year, carrying deeper relationships with the other children and volunteers.
“We see them progress. They’ll be shy and not talking when they first come in. You see a lot of pain and sadness in their eyes. In the beginning, it’s us having to encourage them to talk about feelings, but later, it’s them pushing us to have deeper conversations. One little girl asked recently ‘why did my dad have to die?’ That’s not a question she would have asked at first, but when she started to open up she needed to ask that and we’re there to help.”
Groups give children a safe space to ask tough questions and share their feelings, no matter where they are in their grief. Specially trained volunteers and staff work with children to ensure they are listened to and supported. Jamie genuinely enjoys the children she works with, and they have similar thoughts about her. One boy in Jamie’s groups said simply: “Jamie is awesome!”
What do other Midland Care volunteers say?
"I know from experience how draining having a terminally ill loved one can be. If I can help provide some respite for someone in that situation, I would love to do that." - Companion volunteer
"I believe that nobody should have to die alone, unless of course, they want to. I would like to be there for people during their time of transition." - Vigil volunteer
"I started volunteering so I could keep busy. Now I volunteer because I love it!" - Retail volunteer
"Working with the Midland Care staff is great fun - it's a pleasure to be a part of the Midland family!" - Administrative volunteer
"Volunteering at Midland Care is something I have been interested in for a long, long time. Volunteering helps me give more of myself." - Grief and loss volunteer