Monthly Archives: January 2014

Red-Vested Rockstar: Parker Freiborg



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

Meet Parker!

 1.   Why he ROCKS?!

 “I got into volunteering because I realized that I was being a little selfish with my spare time. I love kids, so it was a no-brainer to look up Children’s Hospital and inquire. For some reason, after a year of playing board games and video games… I still get whooped by the kids I’m volunteering with!”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “I’m huge into the outdoors; I hunt when I can, although this year has been a little scarce. I put in time filming for a hunting show on the Sportsman’s Channel called “Hallowed Ground Outdoors”, so that’s where most of my “hunting time” goes. Other than that, most of my time is spent with friends and family, I try not to stay idle for too long!”

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

 “I have a 14 year old yellow lab named Gunnar. She was my first pet and she will be a tough act to follow for any other dog I consider getting. She loves kids so much, that we have a collage on our wall of 30 or so kids using her as a pillow, dressing her up as a princess, or riding her like a horse.”

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

 “I go back and forth with my sweet tooth, I LOVE a good chocolate/caramel combo, but the next day I’ll be craving gummy worms. But, if it had to be a candy BAR I’d probably do the chocolate/caramel combo with small coffee beans in it. (I’m also addicted to good coffee) The name would end up being something like “Diet Bar” or “Health Plus” because it would obviously be calorie free ;)”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

   “I’ve had so many good experiences at Children’s, from babies that go from screaming to an out-cold slumber when you hold and rock them, to making new friends that don’t want me to leave at the end of my shift. I think the experience that I had the most fun was with a younger boy, maybe 10 years old. He wanted a volunteer because he was a little nervous being left alone while mom went out for dinner. I walked into the room and he said he just wanted someone to watch TV with, so we started flipping through channels. We came across the Barrett-Jackson auction (car auction in Arizona) and this kid’s face lit up. Now, to preface this story, I’d like to think I know a lot about cars: old cars, new cars, obscure cars, but this boy KNEW cars. I’ve never had such an in-depth conversation about classic Mustangs and the pros and cons of model changes year over year. This little guru had cars DOWN. We had so much fun talking cars that when his mom came back from dinner, he asked if she wanted to go out for dessert so he and I could continue watching the auction and talking motors.”

 Thanks, Parker, for showing that taking the time to get to know a patient can lead to a fun and memorable experience for all!

Buds in Scrubs: Angie Norvitch


Children’s Volunteer Services presents:

 Buds in Scrubs!

 1.   Meet Angie:

Angie is the interactive designer in the marketing and communications department at Children’s. What exactly does that mean, you ask? Well, she offers her creative talents to many areas including website re-designs, some Facebook images & cover photos, the images for the Children’s journey walls and, most recently, she redesigned the blog along with its newsletter design. Did I mention she created the adorable photo template for our Pet Therapy Thursday PAWH post??

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of work?

 “I enjoy being outdoors and anything that keeps me active. I am a marathon runner, so I run lots of miles. My mom taught me how to crochet a couple years ago, so I’ve taken that up as a “relaxing” hobby. And I also enjoy being social and being with my friends.” 

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

 “No kids, no pets.” 

 4.   What is your favorite book and/or movie?

 “My favorite movie is The Proposal with Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock. I laugh like it’s the first time I’ve seen it, everytime.”

 5.   Who was your hero as a kid?

 “Probably Batgirl or Belle from Beauty and the Beast.”

 6.   Who is your hero now?

 “My parents. They are pretty much amazing.”

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

 “I’m all about dark chocolate and REAL peanut butter, so probably those ingredients and I’d call it ‘PB & DC’, because I’m not good at naming things.”

 8.   What do you love most about your job at Children’s?

 “ I don’t know that I can pick just one thing that I love most. I love that I get to be creative everyday and my team that I get to work with. I feel that my reach is pretty vast here, being the only web designer, so I love that I get the opportunity to learn about different departments and meet others from all over the organization. And, I love that I am learning something new every day!”

 9.   Share a work experience involving volunteers:

 “Recently, I did some user-testing of our website with some volunteers. They were so helpful in providing valuable feedback about the website and changes being made to the site.”

Thank you, Angie, for sharing your creative talents with Children’s!


Red-Vested Rockstar: Gretchen Arana


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

Meet Gretchen!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 “The main reason I got into volunteering at Children’s is because I love working with children!  I had a career in health insurance sales for many years and decided it was time to change things up so I went back to school for nursing!  I recently graduated and hope to get into pediatric nursing. I am thrilled to be entering the healthcare field and so excited to start my new career!”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “My absolute favorite thing is to hang out with my kids! When we have a free day we like going to the movies or spending a day at the MOA going on rides – always a huge hit! We went sledding twice this past week, which was awesome. Outside of that – I love to read, bike, and spend time with friends.”

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

 “I have 2 kids and 2 pets. My daughter is 10 and my son is 7. We have a cat and recently added a dog to the mix. It’s been a few months and they are finally able to tolerate being in the same room together, which is lovely. I am talking about the cat and dog, not the children! Haha!”

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

 “I called in the kids for back up for this question. We’ve decided the candy bar would include cookie dough, caramel, and chocolate. We came up with the name ‘Triple C bar’!”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

 “There are so many special moments that it’s hard to pick a favorite. During my most recent shift, I was playing with a patient who was 16 months old. We were reading and looking at books and she started to repeat a word or two – so amazing to be a part of! I love rocking the babies, taking the kids for strolls in the hallway, and playing games with the older kids. Just being able to help families, in any small way, during this stressful time is the best volunteer experience for me.”

 Thank you, Gretchen ! Your enthusiasm, warm smile, and love for kids is evident in the volunteer work you do!


Volunteer Services Welcomes (back) Ben Reed!


Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is excited to welcome (back) Minneapolis Volunteer Coordinator,

Ben Reed!


Why share his talents with Children’s? Find out below (along with other fun facts about Ben):

 What excites you most about working at Children’s?

   “The people and the culture. Knowing that each day I am making an impact, direct or indirect, on the experience that children and families have.”

 Favorite thing to do outside of work?

 “Stay current on doomsday prepping in the event of a zombie apocalypse.”

 Something unique or interesting about you?

 “I have ran the Twin Cities marathon twice. And never will, ever again.”

    Favorite Superhero?

  “Aquaman. I love fishing and fish frys, although being Aquaman may take the fun out of it.”

 Do you have any pets?

 “Two cats. Belle, who my wife named and Beluga, who I sort of named. My wife would not go for Lester or El Tigre.”

    What words come to mind when you think of a volunteer?

 “Hero, selfless, engaged.”   

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

 “Layers of bacon, maple breakfast sausage and chocolate, dipped and covered in chocolate. I’d call it ‘Choco-Meaty’.”

We are excited to have you back on board, to collaborate and see what endeavors are ahead!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Rachel Comfort



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

Meet Rachel!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 “I decided to start volunteering as a way to explore nursing as a possible career and also because I want to give back to my local community. Being able to volunteer my time and energy is priceless because I can impact someone’s life in a positive way. I am currently a nursing student and also work at a small, family-owned restaurant.”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “My favorite activity outside of volunteering is long distance running and spending time with my friends and family. Staying active is a big part of my life and my relationships always take priority!”

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

 “I currently don’t have a pet or kids of my own but my parents adopted an English Cream Golden Retriever named Cooper. He has been a wonderful addition to our family and makes each day filled with laughter!”

 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 taste like a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie. It would have layers of mint, chocolate, and cookie! I would name it the ‘Hope Bar’ because something as simple as a candy bar can bring people hope and make them feel better about their day.”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

 “My favorite volunteer story was when I spent time with a patient and within my short period of knowing them, they were calling me their best friend and were so sad when it was time for me to leave. We played for hours in the playroom and I wheeled them down the halls in a toy car. We talked about their friends and all the activities that they were involved in. It was a memorable experience for me because before I left, the patient looked at me and said, “Because of you, I’m not scared to be in the hospital anymore.” That is a memory that I will treasure forever.”

Thank you, Rachel, for providing the extra time and care that our patients deserve!