Volunteer Spotlight: Yvonne Arentsen

The past few years have been difficult for so many of us, and our volunteer spotlight, Yvonne, asked herself, "what is my purpose, and what can I do to help others."

Yvonne's first volunteering experience came very young when assisting her mom at their local church. They would provide support by hosting a hospice tea where everyone could come and share their experiences. Yvonne knew early on the importance of having a place to go for help, compassion, and kindness, where families and loved ones can feel safe to share their grief and stories.

When asking Yvonne, what motivates her, she replied, "I've lost many loved ones over the years, including my husband, 13 years ago." Yvonne shared that the pain never disappears, and you learn to live with it. Although, after the death of her best friend, Yvonne walked by Ty Watson House and thought, She knew right away that AVHS was where she wanted to share her compassion and donate her time.

Yvonne wants to be at TWH because she is a people person, and people are her passion.

In her spare time, outside of helping others, Yvonne is a very hands-on grandma to four grandchildren, and one of Yvonne's favourite things to do for self-care is to get into her car, turn up the music and drive.

Yvonne is adventurous and loves to experience the outdoors. She loves to watch her grandchildren biking on the weekends, enjoys playing soccer, and has even taken the leap and tried ziplining. In addition, she reads, writes, and speaks Dutch, as both of her parents were Dutch immigrants. This helped Yvonne when returning to Den Hague, Holland, at 19, where she began working in a nursing home. Yvonne is always open to a fun time, and as she always states, "nothing is going to stop this grandma." 

Asking Yvonne what she would say to encourage someone else to volunteer with AVHS, Yvonne replied:

"I would want to show them what hospice looks like. I would want them to witness the hospitality being given and that it can be a happy place where families and loved ones can feel safe to share their stories and grief". Yvonne shared that a team of remarkable people created this place.

Thank you, Yvonne, for sharing your story with us, and we are happy to have you as a part of this fantastic organization.



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