In this post, guest blogger Maria Wetschka writes about her experience as a summer inpatient volunteer at Children’s. Maria is currently a junior in nursing school at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Maria’s sister, Anna, is going into her senior year of high school this fall at Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul.
What made you decide to volunteer over the summer months at Children’s Hospital?
“One of the main reasons I chose to volunteer at Children’s this summer is because of my sister Anna. Anna has been volunteering here for almost a year, and every time I would see her after a shift, she always had the biggest smile on her face. I knew that what she did while volunteering made her happy, and I wanted to find that same happiness in helping others!”
What was your most memorable moment from volunteering this summer?
“The moment I realized that what I was doing was meaningful was when I was playing with a child on the epilepsy floor. I spent an hour with a patient who I thought didn’t really want to play with me. Instead of letting that get me down, I tried my hardest to help her have fun. We passed time blowing bubbles, taking her doll on walks, and coloring princess pictures. When her mom returned, I still wasn’t sure if the patient had fun. As I said goodbye to her, what happened next surprised me. The patient ran to her door and gave me the biggest hug. She said “goodbye, Maria” over and over, and when I thought she was done hugging me, she let go and hugged me again. It was then I knew that even though it may not always seem like it to me, the impact I can have on someone is big. Even if it means doing something simple like playing dolls, I have the ability to make someone who is in what can be a scary place feel happy and safe, and that is what I love most about volunteering.”
What would you like to do in the future?
“I am a junior nursing student at Creighton University, and I would love to work with children in the future. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience or way to spend my summer! I truly value every second I have spent volunteering and hope to be back next summer!”
Thank you, Maria and Anna, for sharing your time with us this summer!