Be of Brave Heart

Companionship, Respite, & Education

With our volunteers and community partners, we provide compassionate care, companionship, respite, and education to those facing illness, isolation, end of life, and grief.

An Appeal from the Executive Director

Dear Friends of Brave Heart Volunteers,

I recently read a poignant quote by author Dr. Joanne Cacciatore: “If you simply cannot understand why someone is grieving so much, for so long, then consider yourself fortunate that you do not understand.” I believe the same can be said of anyone who is suffering, whether from grief, loneliness, untold loss, chronic pain, or terminal illness. Unfortunately, these are concerns our organization encounters every day among the people we serve—your own neighbors and fellow Sitkans.  In fact, Brave Heart Volunteers exists because twenty years ago, two nurses and a dedicated group of community members desired to provide compassionate care and companionship to those in such need.
As a nonprofit, BHV is unique in that we are not looking for a cure or for ways to eradicate a problem. Rather, we are tending to unavoidable matters of the human condition, things that all of us will experience at some point: death, loss, grief, illness, pain, and loneliness. As a heart-based organization, our aim is to alleviate the suffering of others by providing social and emotional support during some of the most challenging times of their lives. We recognize that people need to be seen and heard, to know they matter, and they’re not alone in their pain. Our volunteers yield to those needs; they stop long enough to truly see, listen, walk alongside, and serve others with kindness.
If you think about it, BHV is like a flashlight—a light for others in

their darkest moments. Quite often, people don’t give much thought

to a flashlight or entirely appreciate it until it’s needed, but we all hope

it’s there and fully functional when we do. For BHV to be fully functional,

we need batteries, namely financial support. For two decades now, we

have provided services without charge to our community. However,

while our services are free, they come with costs, and given the

current economic climate, we are finding it difficult to raise the funds

we need to meet our annual operating expenses. 
Today, we invite you to become a “battery” for BHV, to safeguard our ability to be a light for others, so we can continue to be responsive when called upon.  Would you consider making a financial contribution to our 20th Anniversary Campaign?  Your generosity is not a gift to our organization; your gift ultimately passes through us to our care receivers, to Sitkans who are most in need of lovingkindness and fellowship.  As Colette Nelson of Ludvig’s Bistro said about a recent fundraiser they hosted for BHV, “Thank you for giving us a deeper purpose. Supporting those who support others feels so good.”  We could not have said it any better.
Thank you for making a donation to BHV today. Your financial support helps us to continue helping others. You can contribute here.
Most Sincerely,
Angie DelMoral
Executive Director

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Our Brave Heart Stories

Brave Heart volunteers Michaela and Connor Dunlap provide companionship for Lupe Alvarez at the Pioneer Home.  Being that there’s no family in town, among other things, they facilitate weekly treasured phone calls with Lupe and her daughter, Sonja.  


When asked about their time with her, Lupe comments, “Isn’t that great, it’s just like having family, that’s wonderful.  They are wonderful people. They are interesting, not only fun, they are young.” 

Brave Heart Volunteer Phyllis Hackett visits with Nancy Rickets. When asked about her experience, Nancy says: 

“I found out what Brave Heart does, and what is most helpful for me is the companionship. The volunteer I have now is Phyllis Hackett, she is a great, great gal. She is willing to walk fast, hard or easy, and now it has to be easy for me.  I have walked in Sitka for almost 45 years, I walked everywhere and I loved it.  When it gets so you can’t walk so well anymore, it is really important to have someone with you.  I tell her what I can handle and what I find enjoyable.  It’s really important to get out if you need mental stimulation!” 

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