Close 2 Heart


Close2Heart is a program which serves a special population – Senior Citizens in the last stages of terminal illness at a local hospice. Everything about Close2Heart is more difficult and more challenging than Volunteer Grandkids. The program is longer, lasting 10 weeks. The training is longer and more thorough.  The Hospice Staff gives 16 hours of formal training.  Instead of visiting 1 person 7 times over a period of 7 weeks, teens visit 7 people – one a week – and prepare a short memory book for each one following the visit.

A test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children. Even tyrants and dictators make a point of being fond of children. But the affection and care for the old, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture.

Abraham J. Heschel

Buddy Program

Like Volunteer Grandkids, Close2Heart is a project you undertake with a buddy – and both of you will be part of a larger team.  Your team will all go to the Hospice at the same time.  Then each buddy pair will go to their assigned Hospice Patient.  After an hour of chatting with the Patient, you and your buddy will meet up with the team in a special room to prepare a short Memory Book to present to the Patient.  The Memory Book will eventually be gifted to the patient’s family.


The Special Close2Heart Challenge and Payoff

The special challenge of Close2Heart is realizing that the person you go to see one week might not be alive the following week.  The loss can rip at your emotions.

On the other hand, you might very well be the grandest thing that happens in the final days of the patient’s life – and enable them to leave the world with a contented smile on their face.  Imagine presenting your handmade Memory Book to a patient and hear him or her say, “Please prop that on my night stand.  I want it to be the last thing I look at before I die.”  Imagine that.  Just imagine that – because sometimes…it really happens.