When John Kanitra received a phone call from Teri Schmitchen, Angela Hospice Director of Integrative Therapies & Volunteer Services, asking if he had ever thought about being on the Angela Hospice board, he was quite shocked and even more humbled.
“I had never considered it,” John said. “But the more I thought about it, it was like, that’s a pretty exciting opportunity. It sounded like a privilege.”
John applied and has been on the board for the last three years, with his tenure ending this June.
This wasn’t the first time John has taken a leap of faith in regards to Angela Hospice and experiencing something he never had before.
After hearing from his oldest son about his experience volunteering in hospice, John and his wife, Anne – who is also an Angela Hospice volunteer – started thinking about hospice and volunteering. They soon joined an Angela Hospice volunteer training class. During his time in the training he kept thinking about what was God’s plan for the second part of his life, post retirement from his time working in the Dearborn Police Department.
Turns out that was in home hospice care, where he volunteered primarily before joining the board. John said while he was volunteering he could see how well Angela Hospice was run, that everyone who works there had their heart in the right place. It was the same when he joined the board.
“What I saw for three years was exactly what I saw when I was doing home care,” he said. “It just confirmed what I already knew about Angela Hospice. That’s why it’s a great organization. It’s got great leadership. It’s got great employees. And it’s got a great board of directors.”
During his time on the board, John said he was constantly impressed with his fellow board members, and found himself excited to see them all so committed to Angela Hospice. He was pumped, much like he was when he did his volunteer training.
His tenure on the board may be over, but John still plans to volunteer at Angela Hospice. He and Anne help maintain the butterfly garden on the grounds of the Angela Hospice Care Center.