Dave Hines, co-owner of Snethkamp Chrysler-Jeep in Redford, MI, volunteers in his spare time at the Hospice of Michigan, doing what he can to ease the strain and pain of the dying.
Typically, he spends about four hours each week with the person to whom he's assigned.
“You get close to people and when they die,” says Hines, 56, a 30-year veteran of the automotive retail industry.
He got involved with Hospice of Michigan following the death of his father-in-law, long-time Detroit dealer Bill Snethkamp.
“He died a tough hospital death with tubes all over the place,” Hines recalls. “Some people choose to go a different way and I want to help them.”
His volunteer work can take any number of forms, from sitting around watching TV football games with the patient to helping with household activities.
“I serve in which ever way is most appropriate for the family,” he says. “Mostly it's caregiver relief. It's pretty hard work to care for someone who's dying, especially if it's a loved one, which makes it all the more difficult.
“It might include a trip to the lake one last time. The last man I worked with had a wheel-chair van that the female care givers couldn't really use because it took a little muscle. So I drove him past his old house, where his children grew up.”
He serves with no expectations of anything in return, says Hines who has been married for 30 years, is a father to one and grandfather to three. “What I get out of it is the ability to serve.”
With 30 years of working in the Snethkamp family business — starting at the lowest rung of the operation and working his way up to be a partner with his brother-in-law, Mark Snethkamp — Hines is beginning to think about retiring from the business, but not from his volunteer work.