Cliff Schramm's Story

Cliff Schramm is the director of a food and clothing bank in Hagerstown. On Fridays, he helps his community in another way, serving as a companion volunteer at Doey’s House, a supportive inpatient unit for Hospice of Washington County.

During his volunteer time, he visits with patients and helps provide what they need to feel comfortable and heard. Cliff also serves on the Veterans Committee at Doey’s House.

This notion of service is important to Cliff, but he also brings a deeply personal connection to his volunteer work.

Cliff’s wife died in July 2016, and he thought of her when he stumbled across an ad in the newspaper seeking hospice volunteers a few months later. He’d taken care of her for 14 months before she died. He knew how meaningful companionship care could be so he signed up. 

Early in his volunteering, he had the opportunity to conduct a pinning ceremony for a terminally ill veteran. It was a powerful experience for them both. "Looking at him, it was bringing back memories of my wife, but not sad memories," he recalls. "I told his grandson about what a wonderful grandfather he had, and I said he was really a hero.” 

This set the tone for Cliff’s volunteer work in the six years since. He’s been proud to be a soothing, uplifting presence of many patients. As he sees it, he benefited from loving companionship in his own life, from his wife. 

Linda’s cancer was a shock to the family. She passed away just a few days after her birthday. “We got to celebrate even though it was hard,” Cliff says. “That's why I share my experience, the ways of being able to deal with everything. It's healthy, tremendously. I still feel the emotions go by. I still have my moments.”

Cliff has three grown children and loves to spend time with them. For fun, Cliff bowls in senior duckpin leagues. He also enjoys running, including the many half-marathon, marathon, Iron Man and relay events he’s run over the years. Back at home, he likes to read and study the Bible, and he is active in his church.