Choosing Children’s: Jane Taney

September 12th, 2014

Jane’s Journey to Volunteering at Children’s:

“Children’s Hospital- Minneapolis, has a special place in my heart. On December 11, 1987, my daughter Lauren was diagnosed with a very rare childhood cancer. She underwent aggressive chemotherapy, leaving her immune system quite fragile; unfortunately she developed heart failure twice during her medical journey.

Lauren’s cancer and the incredible staff involved in her care gave me strength, determination, and a unique perspective in encouraging others… I knew I had to give back. Five years after her diagnosis, I co-chaired the Cancer Kids benefit and started a support group with another childhood cancer mom. I loved those experiences, but felt the desire/need to be one on one with families.

That desire led me to volunteer at Children’s. I started in the hematology/oncology clinic, and most recently at the Welcome Center as a Greeter Guide. With my past experience, I feel I can easily identify a lost or stressed face, and offer my assistance.

Thinking back on my life, dealing with my daughter’s cancer, I felt I lived here at Children’s. They were very, very difficult times. I recall my memories here, and take what I learned to try and be a more compassionate, wise, and understanding volunteer. . I truly love every minute of my volunteer shift.”

Red-Vested Rockstar: Josh Purple

August 29th, 2014

Children’s Volunteer Services presents: Red-Vested Rockstar!

Meet Josh!

1.   Why he ROCKS?!

 “My volunteer work at Children’s Hospital began about 20 years ago. I got started thanks to my younger sister, who asked me to draw cartoons at the daycare center she worked at. A mom, who happened to be a nurse at Children’s, was picking up her kids at the daycare. She saw me drawing the big cartoons, and asked if I would be interested in drawing at the hospital; I thought it was a great idea! I was then introduced to Kathi Rokke (a Children’s Hospital legend!) Kathi was kind enough to give me a shot, and allowed me to draw cartoons on her ‘Porky Pork Chops Show’ at the hospital. I have been a part of Children’s ever since!”

2.   What other cool ventures have you been involved with?

 “In the past, I have worked as a ballroom dance instructor at The Dancer’s Studio in St. Paul.A dance highlight was working with the James Sewell Ballet company at the Minnesota Opera for the show Aida, performing overhead lifts with the ballerinas. I have also done fire eating and fire juggling for the Holidazzle Festival! I did commercial and film work for about 10 years, getting my SAG / AFTRA card, with a highlight being a Grease parody TV commercial with Amy Adams. I currently work as a freelance artist doing 3D graphics and animation.”

 Check out some of his incredible work:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAy8Pj990Pw&list=UUIB6sGlXw-w_N-kF9fA5FVQ .

 www.joshpurple.com

 3.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “Art! I love spending my free time doing art and animation.”

 4.   If you could create a new candy bar, what would be in it and what would you name it?

 “If I could create a new candy bar, it would be a giant purple crayon, packed full of magic and fun. I’d name it, ‘The Kid’s Club House Rocks!’ It would instantly transmogrify the surrounding area to be filled with Muppets, Dr. Seuss poems & characters.”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

 “A favorite volunteer experience: every Children’s Hospital cartoon show & event for the last two decades! I cannot give enough credit and thanks to EVERYONE in the Star Studio and at Children’s! Special shout out to Amy, The Dude, Ben, Seth, Tanya, Kathi, Sharon, Ingrid, Benjamin, Christi, Diane, Laura, Kendall, Sandy, and all of the volunteers. ALL of the kids and ALL of the extraordinary staff are the best of the BEST!! THANK YOU!!

      Thanks for sharing your incredible talents and infectious smile with the patients and families we serve at Children’s!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Davy Kosal

August 15th, 2014

 

Children’s Volunteer Services presents: Red-Vested Rockstar!

Meet Davy!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 “I began volunteering at Children’s Hospital in high school;  it was all I looked forward to during the summer! Though only 17 at the time, I learned that small gestures can mean the most. I am (now) a Junior nursing student at the University of Minnesota and plan to pursue a BSN degree, specializing in pediatrics. I enjoy getting to know the Children’s nurses and love being around kids; I am still a child at heart!”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “Outside of volunteering, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, as well as traveling and new adventures. I try to keep an active lifestyle through exercise and dance, though it conflicts with my love for food… life is about learning to sacrifice, right?”

 3.   Do you have any kids or pets of your own?

 “No kids or pets… yet. My little cousins keep me going and I always enjoy their company.”

 4.   If you could create a new candy bar, what would be in it and what would you name it?

 “I am known as the ultimate chocolate lover! I would layer my candy bar with milk chocolate, pecan halves, coconut, and a caramel drizzle. This would be called First Love.”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

 “It is difficult choosing just one experience to share, from holding babies to creating crafts and games with teens. One of my favorite days was spending time with a little girl, the brightest and happiest little girl I had met! She was developmentally delayed, so aside from my talking our communication was through gestures and smiles. Every movement excited her and every word led to laughter! These moments are so special to me, and stuck with me after my shift. The little girl taught me to love life as it is or comes, and that a smile can go a long way!”

 Thank you, Davy, for your dedicated service over the past four summers!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Seth Ramin

August 1st, 2014

Children’s Volunteer Services presents: Red-Vested Rockstar!

Meet Seth!

1.   Why he ROCKS?!

 “I got into volunteering at Children’s hospital because I am applying to medical school and I was looking for some clinical experience. I specifically chose Children’s hospital because I love children and because of my relationship with my brother Chase. Chase is handicapped and developmentally delayed, and I have taken care of him since my early childhood.”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “My favorite thing to do outside of volunteering is to go to my cabin. My favorite thing about being at my cabin is the fishing and having bonfires with s’mores.”

 3.   Do you have any kids or pets of your own?

 “I currently have two cats and two dogs. My cats are named Moglie and Thunder, and my dogs are named Grizz and Suki. Grizz is a German Shorthair and Suki is a Shih Tzu Bichon Frise mix.”

 4.   If you could create a new candy bar, what would be in it and what would you name it?

 “If I could make a new candy bar, I would make one with milk chocolate, caramel, english toffee, butterscotch, and a white chocolate coating. I would call it ‘THE FANTASTIC BAR’.”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

   “My favorite volunteer experience happened within my first month of volunteering. A three year old girl had requested a volunteer. It was towards the end of my shift, the sun was already down, and it was close to bedtime for this little girl. I figured the best activity would be for me to read to her until she fell asleep. I ended up reading her five of her favorite books… at least two times each. She giggled the entire time, and repeated every word I uttered. I can remember saying “three little monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell off and bumped his head” and she would say “one fell off and bumped his head,” followed by enormous laughter, leaving her practically breathless! She eventually ran out of energy and fell asleep as I read yet another book to her. It was the perfect ending to my volunteer shift.”

Red-Vested Rockstar: Lisa Zutz

July 18th, 2014

Children’s Volunteer Services presents: Red-Vested Rockstar!

Meet Lisa!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 “I got into volunteering because of its benefits; I believe that unpaid volunteers are kind of the “glue” that holds a community or even a hospital together. Volunteering makes me happy and knowing that I am able to put a smile on a child’s face really makes my day. Volunteering at Children’s Hospital has brought so much fun and fulfillment to my life. I want to work as a nurse with children and I feel that the skills I gain from volunteering will make me that much better of a nurse and a person.”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “Outside of volunteering I keep pretty busy. I am very active and love to work out; whether it’s yoga, spin, or even a nice long run. Also, I spend a lot of time with my family.”

 3.   Do you have any kids or pets of your own?

 “I do not have any kids but once a week I babysit my two nieces, Chloe and Kinzi ages 2 and 5. We have a blast together! I spend more time with my nieces than my actual friends. We enjoy going to the Maple Grove indoor Maze, making cupcakes, playing outside, and making projects. We definitely keep busy all day long. I also have a kitty, his name is Luigi and I love him with all my heart. He is a beautiful mix- half Siamese half Himalayan and loves to play and run around my condo.”

 4.   If you could create a new candy bar, what would be in it and what would you name it?

 “I am not a lover of chocolate but for everyone who is, I would make an ice cream bar loaded with caramel, pecans, rich chocolate and of course ice cream. I would call it, ‘Caramel delight’ and it would melt in your mouth!”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

 “I am not sure if I can choose a favorite; I believe every experience I have had at Children’s has made me into a better person. Each child is so different and unique that every experience has its own “one of a kind” story. It is amazing to see how brave these kids truly are; they battle so hard and are so  positive despite being sick. Life is so fragile and when you see such young children sick, you realize how life should not be taken for granted. Volunteering is so rewarding!”

Thank you for your can-do spirit; your ability to connect with the patients is truly a gift!

2014 Volunteer Services Scholarship Winners!

July 1st, 2014

Congratulations to the 2014 Volunteer Services scholarship winners!

This year, six deserving Children’s volunteers won a $1,500 scholarship toward their continuing education.

Each volunteer has put in a minimum of 250 hours of service at Children’s, has completed a scholarship application and essay, and shows up to volunteer each week with incredible drive, determination and a true passion for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Congratulations to our winners: Amanda Wanous, Nick Plimpton, Grace Scribner-O’Pray, Sarah Hovseth, Susie Wolter, and Sean Creegan.

We are thrilled to support their educational goals, and look forward to having future doctors, a future nurse and future child psychologists among us.

Red-Vested Rockstar: Julia Frebault

June 20th, 2014

 

Children’s Volunteer Services presents: Red-Vested Rockstar!

Meet Julia!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 “I began volunteering the summer after my freshman year of college and I will be a senior next year – time flies! I love working with kids, and no matter what job I’m doing at Children’s, I love being able to make a difference in a family’s time at the hospital. I’m a Biology major at the University of St. Thomas and I love learning new things. I’m planning on attending medical school after I graduate so I can hopefully continue helping families at hospitals!”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “Outside of volunteering, I like to read and go on adventures with my friends. I also love to spend time with my family and my dog, Brae.”

 3.   Do you have any kids or pets of your own?

 “My dog, Brae, is a Shetland Sheepdog. When I was younger, I trained her in obedience and agility, so we’ve spent a lot of time together. I think she misses me when I’m away at college! My family also has a cat, Wilson, and another Sheltie, Lucky, and my sister has a horse named Gem!”

 4.   If you could create a new candy bar, what would be in it and what would you name it?

 “If I could create a candy bar, it would taste like a brownie sundae, my favorite dessert. It could be called a ‘Sandy Bar’ (Sundae/Candy)!”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

 “I’ve had so many great experiences at Children’s, so it’s hard to choose just one! One that comes to mind is when I met one very shy little girl. I love doing crafts with kids, and this little girl was willing to make some puppets with me. As we designed our puppets with yarn hair and googly eyes, I tried to ask her questions, but she wasn’t very responsive. When my shift was over, I gave her my puppet so she could do a puppet show when I left. As I was walking out, I heard her shouting and running after me. I stopped and she reached out her puppet to give me… I still have it. It was so sweet!”

Thank you, Julia, for giving over 240 hours of service to Children’s! Your compassion and giving spirit make such an impact during a child’s hospital stay.

Red-Vested Rockstar: Debbie Closmore

June 6th, 2014

 

Children’s Volunteer Services presents: Red-Vested Rockstar!

Meet Debbie!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 Debra is a volunteer on the St. Paul Campus; she was formerly a float volunteer, and currently serves as a peri-operative escort in our surgery department. She is energetic and fun, and truly lights up the room! Debra serves as a trainer for new volunteers, passing on her knowledge and expertise. See why she got into volunteering at Children’s:

 “I got into volunteering with hopes to ease the anxiety for children & their families during a stressful time. Spread a little joy!”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “I love spending time with my husband, family, and friends. I also enjoy biking, hiking, yoga, and walking… staying active!”

 3.   Do you have any kids or pets of your own?

 “I have a stepson, daughter-in-law and five grandchildren!”

 4.   If you could create a new candy bar, what would be in it and what would you name it?

 “My candy bar would be made with raw pecans, dates, figs, sunflower seeds and dark chocolate. I would name it Healthy Me.

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story.

 “I spent many hours rocking and holding an infant boy. Every week I went to his unit to rock & talk with him, we really had a connection. When he smiled at me, my heart sang!”

 Thank you for your bright, positive energy, and true commitment to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota!

 

Red-Vested Rockstar: Kevin Hanzlik

May 23rd, 2014

 

Children’s Volunteer Services presents: Red-Vested Rockstar!

Meet Kevin!

1.   Why he ROCKS?!

 “I volunteer because I want to help children and their families through this challenging time in their lives. We had one of our daughters at Children’s-Mpls about 15 years ago and I was so impressed with the child-centered approach they provided. Also, I volunteer because I have devoted my life to children for 36 years as a 6th grade teacher. I retired in July 2013, and I have 4 daughters that are at the center of my life.”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “My favorite thing to do outside of volunteering is watching my daughters move on with their lives and golfing.”

 3.   Do you have any kids or pets of your own?

 “As I stated earlier I have 4 daughters, a female dog, and an amazing wife. For the record I also have 7 sisters so I have been trained very well over the years.”

 4.   If you could create a new candy bar, what would be in it and what would you name it?

 “It would have coconut, peanuts, milk chocolate, a touch of peanut butter and a cream filled center…I would call it ‘Heaven’”.

5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

   “My favorite experiences are mostly centered around simply sitting for hours and singing to and rocking babies. I love babies. Another wonderful experience was receiving the first picture colored for me by one of the patients. She even signed it.”

 Thanks, Kevin, for your dedication to the patients we serve, and willingness to partake in any and all activities!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Callie Albaugh

April 25th, 2014

Children’s Volunteer Services presents: Red-Vested Rockstar!

Meet Callie!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 Callie volunteers in the Rehab department, working with a speech therapist, though helping the entire Rehab team! She is a senior Psychology major at Bethel University, and plans on getting her Master’s in speech pathology. Her passion for becoming a speech therapist is what brought her to volunteer at Children’s! Check out her fun answers, as well as a further introduction from the speech pathologist she works with!

 “Callie has been volunteering in the Roseville Rehab department for almost a year. She has been an AMAZING help during her time here. She is such a great, independent worker; she completed numerous projects to help within therapy sessions and around the clinic. She almost single-handedly developed a theme and activities for this year’s rehab week celebration. The decorations for rehab week received rave reviews from staff and patients alike. Callie is dedicated, cheerful, thorough, and an absolutely wonderful person with whom to work!” –Melanie G., SLP

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “I am obsessed with yoga! It’s a great way to unwind from the day and get ready to start another! I also love traveling; I was able to spend a month in Europe over January, and it was incredible!”

 3.   Do you have any kids or pets of your own?

 “I have an adorable puppy, Oliver, who is a Morkie (Maltese + Yorkie)!”

 4.   If you could create a new candy bar, what would be in it and what would you name it?

 “It would have chocolate, caramel, and coffee! Three of my favorites! And I think I would call it ‘Java Lava’.”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

   “I love being able to follow our patients through their therapy journey. Being able to help them through difficult areas and be able to reach their goals over time is incredibly rewarding, and is my favorite part about being a volunteer.”

 Thanks, Callie, for your commitment to the patients we serve!