Volunteers are an integral part of The Hospice of East Texas team. They bring caring concern, comfort and compassion to patients and families and support the work of Hospice of East Texas in countless ways. Volunteers serve throughout our 23-county service area, helping strangers, friends and neighbors with end-of-life care.

A variety of volunteer opportunities are available. You may elect to work directly with patients and families, help with administrative/clerical and support tasks or work with our bereavement team. The Hospice of East Texas volunteers can support our community engagement efforts as well as offer their unique gifts via music, art, or other specialties.

Volunteers are required to be 18 years of age and should wait a minimum of 12 months of losing a loved one to begin volunteering. We welcome volunteers from all over our 23-county service area and even have opportunities via our thrift stores in Nacogdoches and Henderson.

Volunteer Opportunities


Direct Patient Care and Support

Direct patient care volunteers provide companionship and emotional support to the patient and family, helping in the home or a facility, and offer companionship and/or respite time for the caregiver. Direct care volunteers can offer support to grieving families through telephone calls, notes or personal visits, and even translating information.


Volunteers assist in a variety of our offices by providing help with special projects, mailings and clerical support. Volunteers at The Hospice of East Texas staff the front desk at HomePlace, offering a welcoming smile and guidance to families and visitors. Volunteers help with our children’s bereavement program, our philanthropy office and other special events supporting the work of The Hospice of East Texas.

Resale Shop Volunteers

Volunteers help accept, organize and update donations in our Henderson and Nacogdoches stores all the while interacting with customers! You can find amazing deals, have a great time with friends and support the mission of The Hospice of East Texas.


Chamber of Commerce Presence

HOET holds several Chamber memberships around the 23 counties we serve and having a presence in these areas is important. On a monthly basis, we need volunteers to keep track of chamber events and let us know what to add to our calendars.


Providing Meals

If you love to cook or are simply willing to provide food for HOET events, this position is for you! From time to time, we have small gatherings on campus for which we provide food. Arrange this on your own or get with a group of your friends to provide a meal and nothing needs to be elaborate! Just good people providing good food.

Hospice Shop Moving and Transportation

Do you enjoy a drive along the countryside? HOET has 2 resale shops; one located in Henderson and one in Nacogdoches. From time to time, we need to clear the dock on the HOET campus into the trailer and then take the donations to one of the resale shops. HOET has our own truck and trailer – we simply need strong arms and an enjoyment of driving around town.

Special Events

Throughout the year, HOET hosts special events and we could use help getting ready for said events. If you are a party planner at heart, sign up for this job and let’s have a great time planning!

• Brick and plaque ceremonies
• Annual meeting
• Fresh 15
• WINGS program (working with children suffering the loss of a loved one)


We Appreciate Our Volunteers!

Volunteers are a vital part of The Hospice of East Texas team. They bring caring concern, comfort and compassion to patients and families and support the work of Hospice in countless ways. Volunteers serve throughout our 23 county service area, helping their friends and neighbors at a very difficult time in their lives.

A variety of volunteer opportunities are available, working directly with patients and families or helping with administrative, clerical and support tasks. Whether you have a flexible schedule or limited time to give, the Hospice of East Texas welcomes the gifts of your time and talents.


Matthew Cali

I volunteered for Hospice when I was at U. T. Tyler completing my undergraduate work, and I am now a student at U. T. Southwestern medical school.

Being with people at the end of their lives taught me some important lessons.  One is the value of presence… just being there can be comforting and soothing, maybe as good a medicine as you can give.

The other lesson I learned is not to take any moment for granted.  Two of my Hospice patients I only visited one time.  It didn’t occur to me that that would be the only time, and it taught me that we should always take every encounter as if it might be the last one.  That’s true of hospice work and it’s true of life in general.

I’ve taken those lessons into medical school, and I think they will make me a better doctor one day.  Hospice work is not sad or a burden.  It is rewarding and it can be a pleasure.  It’s like finishing a book, perhaps bittersweet but priceless nonetheless.

David Johnson

Meet David Johnson, a 92-year-old volunteer who hails from Ohio where he attended Ohio State and played the trumpet in the all men Ohio State Buckeyes Marching Band. He moved to Texas in 1979 and has his own insurance company.  David has served 8 years at HOET welcoming families, guests, and staff at our HomePlace front desk.  He is a people person and has never met a stranger.  He has a unique way of making conversation with people and helping them feel comfortable as he shows them to a room.  David also purchased numerous bird feeders to place around our campus and keeps them filled with birdseed so that our patients can enjoy watching birds just outside their window.

David had a personal experience with HOET in 2012 when his precious wife, Linda, came on our service and we took care of her in their home. She came to HomePlace later where she passed away.  After a year or so David decided he would like to serve as a volunteer at the Hospice of East Texas and give back.  One thing he especially enjoys is the relationship he has created with our staff.  “Mr. David” knows most of the staff by name and they look forward to Wednesday afternoons when he serves to visit and see what crazy socks he is wearing for the day.  He brings joy each time he serves, and we appreciate his dedication to encourage others.

Pat Harelson

Pat Harelson has been a volunteer for over ten years and has served in several positions for The Hospice of East Texas (HOET). Pat has provided administrative assistance for her volunteer coordinator by mailing letters, filing documents, and conducting phone calls to HOET families and volunteers. In addition, she has aided with community outreach committees and outreach projects, such as volunteering at the “Turn Tyler Pink” event and the “Airing of the Quilts”. In addition, Pat has visited over 30 patients in homes and facilities throughout the Tyler area as a home care direct volunteer. She provides empathetic care and listening to her families and patients. One caregiver explained to the volunteer coordinator that “Pat is not a volunteer, Pat is family!” Pat continued to support this family after the death of the sweet patient by attending the funeral and being invited to sit with the family during the service. Pat is committed as a volunteer by taking part in the Memory Care Connector (MCC) training provided to HOET volunteers. As a MCC volunteer, Pat has extended compassion, love and care, in very difficult situations with her Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

Pat chose to become a HOET volunteer due the compassion she witnessed when The Hospice of East Texas cared for a friend. It was compassion she had not seen in a long time and she wanted to provide that same compassion to others. Pat worked in the HR field for many years and nothing in her professional work compares to the care she has provided as a volunteer for HOET. One patient Pat visited enjoyed hamburgers, so she would bring them both hamburgers and the sweet lady would pray over their meal. During Pat’s last visit with this lady, she sensed a change during the prayer, and she knew it would be their last time together. Because of her hospice experiences, Pat is very sensitive when death is nearing, and she has developed a sense of peace towards the dying process. The last patient Pat visited became a mentor to Pat and taught her strength, joy, and how to be a prayer warrior. Pat learned to live and live well from the dear lady. Pat explained, “Death is not the end of our journey; it is another chapter of our journey.”

One constant Pat has witnessed from her visits with patients is their reliance on Jesus and many have enjoyed her reading the Bible during the visits. She stated, “I don’t think I would have gained the sensitivity and compassion I have learned as a hospice volunteer from any other experience.” In addition, she said you always have the support and encouragement from The Hospice of East Texas staff when you visit your patients. According to Pat, the most important skills one must have to be a HOET volunteer is to smile and listen. Her previous volunteer coordinator conducted a mentoring visit with Pat and her patient. The volunteer coordinator said, I do not know why I am here, because I am learning from you! You know what to do!

We at The Hospice of East Texas are grateful to Pat Harelson for her 9 years of volunteer excellence!

Charlotte Levy

Meet Charlotte Levy! Charlotte has been volunteering in our Nacogdoches thrift store since 2014. Most days Charlotte can be spotted at her post working the register and greeting customers. She brings her warm personality and humor to the job.

Approaching a holiday you can bet she will be dressed accordingly, topped with a fun headpiece or hat. Of her work at the shop Charlotte states…“Had heard of HOET and had been volunteering at the hospital, felt like it was a real job. Decided to try something new. Loves getting to meet the customers. Good way to get out of the house, give back to the community, enjoyable. Fun volunteer job!”

Paula Bates

“I love Hospice. It’s been my love for a very long time.”

“Hospice just changes you. After working alongside the doctors, nurses, chaplains, other volunteers, and seeing the wisdom and skills they impart to patients and families… well it changes you. I am a better person, more compassionate and more comfortable engaging in those tough conversations around death. Most of all, I find joy where I am, and I’m a better version of me.”

“When you help to start something, like I did Hospice of East Texas forty years ago, it’s kind of like your baby, and I’ve held on to it for so long. It’s come full circle for me. Hospice came to our home to help us care for my 93 year old mother in her last months. To watch those nurses’ aides and nurses and doctors and chaplains care for my precious mother touched me deeply. It was like my family caring for my family.”

Our expert, compassionate care is provided wherever you call home.

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