For nearly 25 years, Tommye Violette has been volunteering at Treasure Coast Hospice’s Stuart Thrift Boutique. A retired nurse relocating from New Jersey, Tommye originally thought she would volunteer with patients. At the time, help was needed at the Thrift Boutique, so Tommye stepped right in, working the register, greeting customers, and enjoying every minute. “I’ve met so many friends and so many interesting people through my volunteer work.”
For the past 10 years, Tommye’s role has been to price merchandise, specifically, the multitude of donated designer handbags. She’s become an avid researcher, skilled at identifying knockoffs and pricing authentic bags. For nine of those years, Tommye’s late husband Bob joined her as a volunteer at the store. The former Marine and publishing executive restored watches and helped with electrical work. “Volunteering gave my husband great satisfaction. It was a big part of our life.”
Through her volunteer work, Tommye also learned how hospice supports patients and families facing serious illness. “Even though I was a nurse and had cared for my dad years ago, I wasn’t fully aware of the benefits of hospice care.” Today, Tommye not only encourages people to volunteer but also to seek hospice care earlier.