My Annual “Mission” Trip

Hospice & Community Care served our family in the past through their endof-life care, consistent with the mission. After that experience, I knew that I would stick my toe into Hospice by volunteering in some role upon my retirement. We also had been attending the Labor Day Auction at the Lampeter Fairgrounds for years before and after our family received Hospice services. I stuck my toe in after retiring by initially attending a Labor Day Auction solicitation orientation. This initial volunteering then expanded into helping with the setup week before the Labor Day Auction. Now, this setup week and preparation has become my annual Mission Trip, supporting this key event for Hospice & Community Care.

In the past, I had the opportunity to be part of foreign mission work building a residential campus for the Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf. And yes, it was a life changing experience to be part of that work. I later realized that there were such mission opportunities locally that also stretched my mind, body and soul in great ways. After beginning the volunteer work with Hospice and expanding into more activities for the Labor Day Auction, I signed up to serve for the week of setup and preparation at the Solanco Fairgrounds. After that first year, I realized that the setup and preparation week was now my annual Mission Trip. The week includes manually loading and unloading tractor trailer loads of used sale merchandise, loading and unloading many trucks and small trailers of collectibles, artwork and new items, and collecting Auction items from donating companies. We set up tables on which Auction items are displayed, as well as chairs for attending guests, along with the preparation of the buildings and fairgrounds for the Auction.

Teams work at the Solanco Fairgrounds for the Auction, sweating and pushing our physical limits through the week of long (usually hot and humid) days. It is an amazing environment of Hospice employees and volunteers working and serving together for a common cause and great mission. We share experiences and renew/develop friendships with others who share a common commitment. It changes our perspectives and lives.

The two days of the Auction seems like a celebration with the broader community, even with the continuing work of many more volunteers and employees. The day after the event, we take everything down, clean-up and restore the fairgrounds to its original status. After the tremendous Labor Day Auction, even though we are exhausted in all ways, we realize and feel the great satisfaction and joy of being part of such an important mission, that of Hospice & Community Care.

Yes, another Mission Trip completed, and so many families and individuals will be touched and supported from our work and serving together. What a blessing and joy to be part of this work! I appreciate the support of others and encourage you to join the mission in whatever way you can.

~By: Rick Bailey, Hospice Volunteer