Stories

Volunteering is for the Burds

Today is a typical winter day at the Delaware Hospice Center. It is an overcast, chilly Friday afternoon, and the day is coming to a close. A few nurses, volunteers, and staff members are beginning to wrap up their shifts and are looking forward to the weekend. Bob and Nancy Burd, long-time volunteers of Delaware Hospice, have taken some time out of their day to stop by and say hello.
As soon as the couple walks through the main entrance, they are immediately greeted with a warm salutation from the friendly volunteer stationed at the front desk and a playful remark, “The security has arrived!”
A while back, a visitor mistook Bob for a security guard when Bob was stationed at the front desk. A nurse politely informed the visitor that he was not the security guard and then they went about their day. The nurses did not let it go, however, and Bob’s nickname was born. Bob is now known as ‘Security Bob’ when he is greeted at the center. Nancy even took the liberty of crafting her husband an embroidered badge that spells out ‘Security’ which receives a huge laugh every time Bob wears it proudly for everyone to see.
Bob and Nancy are passionate about their respective roles at Delaware Hospice because they have witnessed firsthand the benefits of receiving bereavement counseling as well as end-of-life care.
A few years ago, the Burds tragically lost their son. When they returned home from the hospital, they reached out to Delaware Hospice for help. They immediately were able to connect with Robin Murphy, a Bereavement Counselor at Delaware Hospice to get the assistance they coveted.
“Robin was very helpful when we spoke to her, Bob exclaimed, “We received help from Delaware Hospice and are extremely thankful for their services.”
Nancy also decided to seek the assistance of hospice when it came time to consider care for her mother.
“We were extremely pleased with the service we received,” Nancy said, “We wanted to show our appreciation and give back.”
Bob and Nancy know what it is like to have to cope with loss. Now, because of their experiences, they are more than willing to tell their story, lend a hand, or share a conversation with someone who may be going through a terribly similar situation. Over the years, the Burds have had countless interactions with patients’ family members at the Delaware Hospice Center and in the community.
In 2023 alone, Bob volunteered for over six hundred hours at the center.
“It’s fun, it’s enjoyable,” Bob mentioned, “Volunteering is something that I like to do.”
If you know Bob, you are well aware that he takes immense pride in his golf game. Bob first connected with Delaware Hospice by participating in the Delaware Hospice Golf Outing over 15 years ago. Shortly after that, Bob helped create and organize an additional golf tournament named the Eleanor Soltner Golf Outing that benefits Delaware Hospice and commemorates a good friend’s late spouse.
To this day, the Eleanor Soltner Golf Outing has raised over $250,000 which goes directly to Delaware Hospice’s Patient Services. The tournament continues to be a tremendous success and has no trouble selling out every single year.
Nancy Burd has worked alongside Bob assisting with his golf outings and many other projects for years. Her favorite aspect of her role is getting to work closely with Peggy Dolby, Delaware Hospice’s Director of Philanthropy. Nancy previously worked in banking before she retired and provides insight and assistance with Delaware Hospice fundraising initiatives.
“We like to keep busy,” Nancy asserted, “I have always been one who likes to do for others. Delaware Hospice is such a special place. The nurses and the aids do such a fantastic job, and it warms my heart to know that we can help them out.”
Nancy prefers to not work directly in the center, but she continues to find ways to impact the hospice community. She is quite enthusiastic about sewing and quilting. After getting to know most of the nurses and the Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) over the years, Nancy wanted to show her appreciation by sewing zipper pouches filled with candy and thank-you notes. This act of kindness was extremely well-received by the employees at the center.
“It is an amazing job that the staff does here,” she said, “It is not something that I could do.”
Throughout her time volunteering, Nancy has also created many quilts for different organizations and individuals in the Delaware area.
As time has passed, the Burds have gained a new perspective and a fond appreciation for hospice. That is evident by just how much time and effort they put into each aspect of their volunteer duties. From countless golf outings, car shows, and Festival of Trees to quiet nights spent behind the front desk at the center and quilting behind the scenes, the Burds have truly made an impact in their community.
“I try to tell anyone that I know that hospice is not just for end-of-life,” said Nancy “There is so much that hospice care can do for people. It is an amazing service.”
Delaware Hospice is always looking for volunteers. No matter your skill set, there is always an opportunity to give back to your community and be a guiding light for those in need.
Nancy had a simple message for someone considering volunteering at Delaware Hospice, “Give it a try.”
As the Burds concluded their rounds at the center, pausing and saying hello to nearly every person they walked by, joyous laughter and pleasant conversation filled the lobby.
Are you or someone you know interested in volunteering at Delaware Hospice? Click here for more information or to get started.

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