Brad Batten is a poet, an author and an artist; he is also a volunteer at Providence Care Hospital. You can find Brad reading poetry to patients, engaging them in conversation, or even leading a ‘Paint Nite’ style art class. It is clear from his interactions with the people we serve that his passion for the arts permeates everything he does.
We sat down with Brad to learn how he came to volunteer at Providence Care and what this experience means to him, as well as to the patients with whom he interacts. Brad shared with us that he “began volunteering in the spirit of simplicity – meaning only to share in the love and fruits of a life well lived”. His response was a breath of fresh air, and his words so obviously filled with sincerity. “I felt that if I brought in a little poetry, some readings, and simply shared from that place of heart, that goodness would flow from all sides. And it does.” It was evident from talking with Brad that each interaction he has with a patient is truly unique in nature. While Brad reads stories or recites poetry, he noted that patients often share their own life stories with him in return. “We all quietly share from our place of being with one another. Giving and receiving end up on equal footing.” As we talked I could sense the deep respect Brad has for the patients he spends time with and how much volunteering means to him.
Volunteers at Providence Care give over 39,000 hours of their time every year; however, each of these volunteers brings their own unique interests, skills, and history to their work. Volunteers live our mission each and every day by showing respect, dignity and compassion to the people we serve. When talking about the time he spends volunteering with patients, and the sharing that takes place in each interaction, Brad said, “that’s where healing takes place: right where the giving and receiving are one”.
We would like to thank Brad, and all of our volunteers for making a profound difference in the lives of the people we serve.