Meet Vita Perez, Veteran and Volunteer Visitor
VITA, LIKE HER NAME, IS FULL OF LIFE. She loves getting to know new people and is committed to being of service. A Santa Cruz native who loves a challenge, Vita joined the Marine Corps right out of high school. She holds a degree in psychology and a Master of Business Administration, and credits our Volunteer Visitor training for preparing her for so much more. She especially appreciated the mindfulness practice, which helps her stay in the present moment with patients and in all areas of her life.
“It’s been vital for me to make peace with death as part of life,” said Vita. In 2004, she lost her brother in Iraq where they both were serving. Her dad died four years later. She says she doesn’t shy away from mortality. Now, when she meets a new patient, she feels as though they are meant to be part of her journey.
Shared experiences help Vita connect and earn trust with Veterans in our care. In her presence, they share stories that they haven’t told in a long while, knowing that she understands.
“Being a Volunteer Visitor is a life changing opportunity that gives me a sense of purpose and a chance to be part of something bigger than myself. When my days are crazy, it helps me reconnect and remember what’s important.”
Volunteer Visitors provide companionship and practical support to hospice patients in their homes or in residential care facilities where they reside. During shelter-in-place orders, Volunteer Visitors support patients while social distancing via Zoom visits, letter writing, and running errands.
Curious about becoming a Volunteer Visitor? Please contact Forbes Ellis, Director of Volunteer Services at 831-430-3045 or email email@example.com and ask about our upcoming training.