The Cross Timbers Hospice is looking to bolster its volunteer force in an effort to better serve the community.

The hospice has 63 volunteers, 10 of which serve on the board. The volunteers are drawn from a 50-mile radius which the hospice serves, and range from teenagers to people in their 80s.

“We have a place for everyone,” says Andrea Anderson, hospice marketing director. “Whether you do music, go to nursing homes for activities or something else, we will find time to use our volunteers.”

Shelly Murray, hospice volunteer coordinator, says folks who are busy with full-time jobs can help, even it if is just for an hour or two a month.

“We are getting more involved with the nursing homes,” she explains.

“If they just want to come to the hospice, they can, and if they want to go to activities outside of the hospice, they can do that as well,” Anderson adds.

There are a couple of reasons the hospice is making an effort to increase its volunteer force. One reason is the desire to add more volunteers to ensure the brunt of the work does not fall on a small number of people.

“Not every volunteer can give the entire month,” Anderson says. “We don’t want to put the entire load on a single person.”

Murray also adds the hospice wants to be able to use its volunteers to meet the needs of the community, whatever those needs might be.

There is also the aspect of Medicare requirements, which dictate the hospice’s volunteer hours must meet 5 percent of the patient care hours.

The hospice uses its volunteers in three ways: patient care, office duties and bereavement care. Volunteer requirements include:

• Attend a volunteer training session at Cross Timbers Hospice.

• Provide a valid drivers license and insurance verification

• Submit to a background check

• Receive yearly TB screenings

The hospice will have a volunteer training session on Aug. 19 in Davis and one on Aug. 22 in Ardmore. For information regarding the volunteer program, call Murray at (580) 223-0655.