Hospice volunteers make a difference. A recent example of just how much of a difference they make comes to us by way of Fairbanks, Alaska. Monte Landis, a former Iowan who fell in love with Fairbanks, Alaska and moved there in 2003, has made it her mission to help ease the suffering of those facing a life limiting illness. Her efforts have not passed unnoticed. As a hospice volunteer, she has set a new local record for fundraising.
A pant sale to raise funds for hospice patients
Each year, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital Hospice hosts a plant sale fundraiser. It is a regular event that is well known in the community. In the past few years, however, its success, and the amount of funds it raises, has grown tremendously. This is all thanks to Monte Landis, who is currently the “plant sale coordinator” of the fundraiser.
To those who know Monte, this should be of little surprise. She has spent much of her life helping charitable organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. More importantly, she has helped loved ones through the difficult end-of-life process.
Personal loss fueled decision to give back
Her decision to volunteer in hospice drew heavily on her own experience with personal loss. Several years ago, her then-ex-husband was diagnosed with brain cancer. Despite their split, she stuck with him through the course of the illness and cared for him until the end. A local hospice was there for her, too. She knew she had to give back.
“It feeds my soul,” Monte said to local newspaper, the Fairbanks News-Miner. “I am doing work with a purpose, with a meaning.”
Hospice volunteer sets fundraising record
Monte’s main role as a hospice volunteer is to lead a team of other volunteers to make the annual plant sale a success. All proceeds from the sale are donated directly to hospice patients and their families. None of the funds raised are used to cover administrative or overhead costs for the hospices themselves. Since taking one her role, the funds raised have increased year by year. Last year, in 2016, Monte set a new fundraising record: $25,275.
Monte credits her success to the help from the other hospice volunteers. She explained, “We have a core group of volunteers that we couldn’t be without — ladies that know so much about what will grow, what won’t grow. I have met the most wonderful people doing this.”
Will she break the record again this year?
Monte can hold her head up high. Funds from the fundraiser have benefited many hospice patients at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital Hospice. For Monte, the greatest reward is intrinsic. “If you truly give, you will get back tenfold,” she said. “I am serious about this. It can be in the form of friendship, money. You know, the universe takes care of you.”
Monte Landis hopes to break last year’s record at this year’s fundraiser, which will take place on May 27, 2017.
Story originally reported by Amanda Bohman of the Fairbanks News-Miner.