Cindy Zehr saw an ad in the newspaper for hospice volunteers in 1982. At the time she was pregnant with her first daughter and uncertain if she had the time to volunteer. But she invited her mother to go with her to the meeting.
Jean Kerlin, Zehr’s mother, decided to give it a try and fortunately for Kosciusko Home Care & Hospice served as a volunteer with Kosciusko Home Care & Hospice for 20 years. Once Zehr’s daughters, Melanie and Sara, were grown, she decided it was time to complete the hospice training she had been interested in long ago.
Once she completed training, she began her time as a hospice volunteer. Zehr now has nearly 10 years of fond memories gained from spending time with hospice patients and their families. She has also provided some of the hospice families with bereavement care and maintained a friendship with two of her families for several years.
Zehr’s sister is carrying on the family tradition with regard to hospice volunteering and became a volunteer five years ago in Wabash County.
In addition to being a hospice volunteer and working at her family business — Kerlin Bus Sales — with her husband Cliff, Zehr has taken advantage of many other opportunities over the years to generously give of her time to help others in her community.
Zehr has served on some boards including the Kosciusko County Community Foundation and Combined Community Services. She is a lunch buddy at Akron Elementary School. Several years ago she enjoyed spending time with a friend who was expecting triplets. Zehr would go to her friend’s home to rock the babies.
She also volunteers through her church, Warsaw Community Church, by visiting residents at Miller’s Merry Manor. “The ladies I visit are my friends and I really look forward to seeing them each week,” said Zehr.
Persons interested in learning more about hospice or becoming a hospice volunteer can contact Kosciusko Home Care & Hospice at (574) 372-3401. They would be happy to answer any questions.