Monthly Archives: March 2012

Web Developer Volunteer Opportunity

Know someone who’s a real computer wiz?

Children’s has a volunteer opportunity which may be a great fit! We are seeking a volunteer who would like to assist our IT department with general upkeep and non-urgent updates to the Children’s Hospital website!

Learning opportunities in this volunteer role include exposure to the Oracle Content Management System, ASP, Word Press, Joomla, PHP,  and an SQL Server. The volunteer should have experience with HTML.  Exposure to Content Management Systems, ASP, Word Press, Joomla, PHP are helpful.

This volunteer opportunity will be based out of the Children’s-Roseville (Centre Pointe) location.

Interested in applying? Contact Kristi for more information by calling 651-220-6168, or e-mailing [email protected]

Seeking Young Leaders for HandsOn Youth Advisory Board!

Interested in building your leadership skills? HandsOn Twin Cities is seeking young leaders who are involved with service and volunteerism to become a part of their Youth Advisory Board. If you are a 14-to-18-year-old who is interested in developing your leadership skills, engaging with youth around community issues, and participating in meetings and events, this may be a great opportunity for you!

Abby Gaul, Youth Engagement Coordinator at HandsOn Twin Cities, writes:

“The HandsOn Twin Cities Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is a group of high school students committed to service and volunteerism. The YAB has been in existence for 2 years, and we are currently accepting applications for a third year! The YAB is a great opportunity for students to learn leadership skills, build their resume, learn about important community issues, get connected with the nonprofit world, meet other local youth, and have fun!

Specific things they do/work on are:

* plan/manage service projects for other youth

* review and revise HandsOn Twin Cities youth programs

* meet with local nonprofits to help them better engage youth volunteers

* participate in fun service projects and activities as a group

* participate in (and help with the organization of) events like the Volunteer Expo at the Mall of America

* hang out with other youth!

This summer, we’re hoping to get YAB members involved in working with younger youth to learn about community issues and build service projects together, which I think will be really fun and interesting!”

Applications for the Youth Advisory Board are due April 2nd, 2012. More information is available on the HandsOn Twin Cities website at, or feel free to be in touch with Abby at [email protected]!

Volunteers Mari Fromstein & Ikram Osman Are 2012 Caring Youth Award Winners!

On Thursday, March 15, volunteers Mari Fromstein & Ikram Osman were recognized at the 2012 Caring Youth Awards at the Minnetonka Community Center.  Mari & Ikram are both current volunteers at Children’s-Minneapolis:  Mari provides support in the Sibling Play Area, while Ikram shares her time on the inpatient units.

The Caring Youth Awards salute young people in grades 7-12 who have unselfishly involved themselves in causes that benefit others.   They encourage an attitude of recognizing the needs of others, and responding to these needs in a personal and caring way.  The Caring Youth event is a collaborative effort among the cities of Golden Valley, Hopkins, and Minnetonka, the Minnetonka and Hopkins school districts, and the Glen Lake Optimists of Minnetonka.

Below are a few pictures from this fabulous event!

Caring Youth Award winners (and Hopkins High School classmates!) Ikram Osman & Mari Fromstein

Ikram Osman & mother Anisa Mohamed

Mari Fromstein with parents Rich & Raleigh Fromstein

Congratulations, Mari & Ikram, on being recognized for your wonderful work here at Children’s!

2012 Volunteer Services Scholarship: Now Accepting Applications!

Children’s Hospital is so thrilled to have an amazing group of student volunteers from local high schools and colleges!

To support the educational aspirations of our student volunteers, Volunteer  Services awards a limited number of scholarships on an annual basis. To be eligible to apply for a scholarship,  volunteers must meet the following qualifications:

  1. Applicants must be currently active in the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota volunteer program, with a minimum of 250 hours of volunteer service (25 of which must be from the current academic year) by the application deadline.
  2. Must be at least a senior in high school.  College and post-baccalaureate students are also welcome to apply.
  3. Must have been accepted at an institution of higher learning (college, university, graduate, vocational/technical institute).  Applicant need not be pursuing a medical career.

Do you meet our scholarship criteria? If you’re interested in applying, get in touch! Volunteer Coordinators on either campus can provide you with scholarship information and an application form. Completed applications are due to the Volunteer Services office by Friday, April 13th, 2012.

Summer Program Volunteer Applications Now Open!

Know a student age 14 or older who would make a great Children’s Hospital volunteer this summer?

Those interested in becoming volunteers may apply through our website before April 1st, 2012. Open to students only, the summer volunteer program is a great opportunity for those interested in gaining experience and sharing time with children in a hospital setting!

To learn more about the qualifications for our summer volunteer program, and to apply, please visit our website:

New Children’s Hospital Commercials Released!

You may have already noticed several new commercials running for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, but here’s your chance to see them all!

A total of seventeen new commercials for Children’s Hospital have been developed, and will begin to air in the next several weeks. These fun new videos give viewers an unscripted, inspiring and often humorous glimpse into the care and support given to patients and families here at Children’s.  Brief interviews with doctors, nurses and families, as well as lots of footage from within the hospital, are included in the videos.

Click Here to check out the new commercials and other new materials, or visit!

Making Every Day Special: St. Thomas MEDS Volunteers!

At new volunteer interviews, applicants are asked how they found out about the volunteer program here at Children’s Hospital.  Often, volunteers have found our website (or this blog!) through online searches, Facebook, friends, teachers or other advisors. When asking this question of our applicants this fall, Lisa and Kristi noticed a trend:  many new volunteers were mentioning that they were a part of the St. Thomas MEDS program, and had learned about this opportunity from a current volunteer…Katie Boyd!

As new volunteers continued to mention the MEDS program, coordinators touched base with Katie Boyd to learn more.  Katie explained that MEDS (Making Every Day Special) is one of the sub-groups of the student group Volunteers in Action (VIA).  VIA is a service organization through Campus Ministry at the University of St. Thomas. Participants serve the Twin Cities metro area through a variety of local organizations committed to service and social justice. Katie, who is a MEDS Site Leader, notes that “a lot of the students involved in the MEDS program are striving to have a career within the medical field someday.” The MEDS volunteers are active at Children’s Hospital and United Hospital.

Eight MEDS volunteers are currently active with Children’s Hospital in St. Paul:  Becca Kummer and Kristin Braden are “float” volunteers, assisting with many tasks on the inpatient units; Kirsten Lambert is a Developmental & Rehabilitation volunteer; Katrina Miller and Suzanne Mages spend time with patients in the Epilepsy Unit; Katie Boyd and Britney Gorman are 4th floor inpatient unit volunteers; and Marianna Moffatt volunteers in the Emergency Department.

VIA-MEDS Volunteers (pictured above, L-R): Katie Boyd, Suzanne Mages, Britney Gorman and Becca Kummer

THANK YOU to our wonderful MEDS group volunteers!  What a fantastic bunch of enthusiastic, committed, fun and driven young people!

KARE 11’s “Eleven Who Care” Honors Marsha Ovitz of Breanna’s Gift

Congratulations to Marsha Ovitz,  founder of arts organization Breanna’s Gift and volunteer at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, for being recognized as a KARE 11 “Eleven Who Care” Award Recipient this year!

(Photo from KARE 11) Marsha Ovitz with a child at Amplatz Hospital

Breanna’s Gift volunteers have provided opportunities for children and their families to participate in dance, arts, theater and music activities at both the Minneapolis and St. Paul Children’s Hospital campuses since 2009.

We are so fortunate to have Marsha Ovitz and fellow Breanna’s Gift volunteers here at Children’s Hospital! The impact that dance, arts and music have on the lives of our patients and families at Children’s is incredible. We so appreciate the time and talents you share with us here! Thank you!

(Photo from Breanna's Gift Facebook page) Breanna's Gift dance teacher Miss Shelly and her dance line, "The Pearls," performing on the Kids' Clubhouse closed-circuit TV show at Children's-Minneapolis.

For More Information:

To learn more about Breanna’s Gift, please visit their website at:

KARE 11 visited Marsha and fellow volunteers Betz and Ed Ulrich at a recent Breanna’s Gift program! To see video from their work with children, and an interview, visit KARE 11’s website by clicking HERE, or at this link:–Marsha-Ovitz-brings-smiles-to-kids-battling-cancer

Each year, since 1983, KARE 11 recognizes eleven outstanding community volunteers. These volunteers have been nominated and are selected by the Eleven Who Care Board of Governors.  You can learn more about KARE 11’s “Eleven Who Care” recognition, and learn more about all of the 2012 award winners at the KARE 11 website:

Children’s Pediatric Hospice Volunteer Training

We will be offering a pediatric hospice volunteer training to any interested volunteers!  This training is in addition to our general volunteer orientation; sessions are scheduled for 5 consecutive Tuesday evenings, beginning April 3. The position involves being a part of the hospice team and volunteering with a hospice family in their homes, providing support and activities for siblings and patients.

If you are interested in more information, please contact Sandy Bergeron at [email protected].

For more information about Children’s hospice/pain and palliative care program, please visit our website at

Volunteers Are Service Stars: Mary Pike, Sibling Play Area

    We’re always thrilled to recognize the great work of our fantastic volunteers!  Today’s “Service Star” is Sibling Play Area volunteer Mary Pike, who received the following acknowledgment from staff member Patty Sandkamp:
“Mary Pike deserves kudos today for her flexibility in the moment.  We were slow in SPA today; however, a family came in with a social worker, wanting to check-in their son so they could go and talk in private. Unfortunately, their son had an active cold and cough, so he could not stay in SPA.  The social worker mentioned that she was going to call Volunteer Services. I asked them how long they thought the meeting would be, and clarified where they were meeting. Logistics covered, I asked Mary if she was willing to be with this young boy.  He was very easygoing about all of this, so it seemed a good match for Mary. We put together a tray of things to do, with items he could take home, and they set off.
Mary’s flexibility was highlighted because she had just walked in the door from a short break as I was talking with the social worker and family. Mary was willing to step out of the norm of her volunteer role and it made a huge difference for the family!
Thank you, Mary, for being willing to serve ‘in the moment!'” 
-Patty Sandkamp, MA, CFLE
Child Life Associate, Sibling Play Area