At Hospice of the Red River Valley, we’re fortunate to have many dedicated volunteers. We celebrate their contributions to the organization and the ways they enrich our patients’ lives.
Volunteer: Matt Skorheim
Location: Moorhead, MN
Volunteering since: 2012
Why do you volunteer with Hospice of the Red River Valley?
As a student at Concordia College, I wanted to get involved in an organization that meant something to me. I remember listening to a presentation about how Hospice of the Red River Valley operates and serves the Fargo-Moorhead area and surrounding communities. HRRV serves any individual regardless of their financial background, which is very important considering the price of healthcare. At this point I wanted to become involved in volunteer opportunities. I chose to become a companion volunteer because I knew I already enjoy conversing and getting to know people, learning about their life experiences. It was a perfect fit. I think many times people tend to shy from those individuals who have a terminal diagnosis. I see death as a natural part of life, and simply having a companion to spend time with can go a long way. Volunteering can be difficult, and it’s not meant for everyone. However, I know I’m making a big difference, especially when families aren’t always able to visit their loved ones.
What’s your favorite volunteer memory?
My favorite memory was being a companion for a gentleman who had gone through many hardships. He had lost family members and separated from the rest. Each visit I made, we talked about his experiences being in the military during World War II and all the places in the world that he had been. I could tell that we both truly enjoyed each other’s company. We looked forward visiting each week. During one visit he gentleman mentioned multiple times how good a particular book about WWII was. On the next visit I brought the book and made a pact with him that I would read it. Now this book is a memory of that gentleman and the time we spent together.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
My most proud accomplishment involves my education. When I was in high school and college, I suffered multiple injuries as an athlete. I spent many days rehabbing at physical therapy. Eventually it dawned on me that I wanted to enter the physical therapy profession and help those going through the rehabilitation process that I was once in. I am currently in my last year of a clinical doctorate of physical therapy program at the University of Jamestown in Fargo and will graduate in May 2016.