Archive for the ‘Volunteer Profiles’ Category

Red-Vested Rockstar: Lisa Zutz

Friday, 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!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Julia Frebault

Friday, 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

Friday, 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

Friday, 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

Friday, 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!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Melissa Burns

Friday, April 11th, 2014

 

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

Meet Melissa!

 1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 “I’ve been working in advertising sales for the past 8 years and am a U of M graduate. I started volunteering because I love babies, and was looking to do something a little more meaningful with my time.”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “I love food and travel – new adventures.”

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

 “No, the last thing I had were Sea Monkeys …..probably the most disappointing ‘pet’ ever!”  

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

 “It would probably be some sort of fig preserves topped with salted caramel and coated in dark chocolate.  I’d call it a ‘Figaroo.’ ”   

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

 “I remember playing with an older, spunky girl who loved pranks/jokes. I was pushing her down the hall in a riding car, she kept trying to bump into things, to encourage me to speed up! Her nurse joined in the fun, and made a hall speaker announcement stating “nurse police, get off the road silly drivers!!” The young girl thought it was so funny, and it was clear that she had a great relationship with the staff… even though they would not allow her to solely eat candy bars for dinner.”

 Thanks, Melissa, for extending your love of babies to Children’s! The comfort through holding and rocking is one that the staff and families so appreciate.

Volunteer shout-out: Kiry Koy

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Volunteer shout-out: Kiry Koy

 

Kiry Koy
 
The celebration of our volunteerscontinues this week with a profile of Kiry Koy.

Kiry is a freshman at the University of Minnesota, studying neuroscience. He volunteers at Children’s – St. Paul on the inpatient units, and has gained more than 60 hours of service since he started volunteering in October of 2013. This summer, he plans to broaden his skill set by volunteering in a new area: as a peri-operative escort in our surgery department! His favorite part about volunteering is playing with kids in the unit playroom. Plans for the future? Well, to become a doctor of course!

Thank you, Kiry, and all of our volunteers for all you do to assist staff and brighten the lives of patients and families.

 

Red-Vested Rockstar: Natalie Lunda

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

 

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

Meet Natalie!

 1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 “I was a patient at Children’s Minneapolis in the 90’s; when I went to High School, I decided to see the hospital from a different angle and volunteer! I took a brief break during college, but after I graduated last year, I was excited to return to volunteering at Children’s. I carpool with my mom who volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House! I just LOVE working with children and plan to continue that in my career as a Child Life Specialist!”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “I love listening to all kinds of music and spending time with my family and friends. I enjoy skiing (downhill, cross-country, and water), biking, nannying, climbing, archery, and photography. Oh, and traveling! I’ve been to Spain and India. Eventually, I hope to visit many more cities and countries!”

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

 “I have a Yellow Lab named Earl, a Cairn-Westie Terrier named Lester, and a Flat-Coated Retriever named Chase. On top of that, I also have been cat-sitting for family members while they live in India for another year!” 

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

 “Half of the candy bar would be mint chocolate brownie, and the other half would be salted caramel dipped in chocolate. That way, you can eat half at one time, and then save the rest for later. It would be called ‘The Stellar Duo’.”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

 “Every volunteer shift at Children’s is memorable, whether I am holding a baby, taking a patient for a stroll, or playing games with kids. One day, I was sent to a patient room to spend time with a baby while parents took a much deserved break. This was the first time the parents would be leaving their baby to take a break, so as you could imagine it was very difficult for them to do. I spent the rest of my shift playing with the baby, taking her for a stroll in the hallway, and simply holding her. When her dad came back to the room, he told me how grateful he was that someone was with their child until one of them returned.”

 Thanks, Natalie, for offering your compassionate spirit to the patients and families we serve!

 

Red-Vested Rockstar: Rocio Andrade Vera

Friday, February 28th, 2014

 

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

Meet Rocio!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 “I am a neuroscience major at St. Thomas and love interacting with kids. I originally started volunteering through a j-term program at St. Thomas that helped with career exploration. However, I loved it so much that I continued to participate in the volunteer program after j-term was over. Even though I didn’t know what to expect from the volunteering program it has surpassed anything I have ever done. Those who know me know that I also volunteer for the pure privilege of rocking babies to sleep, which is something I have gotten quite good at.”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “I enjoy spending time with my siblings as well as my nieces and nephew. Watching bad TV shows always helps me release stress, as well as playing ‘flappy bird’. I take every opportunity I get to travel; exploring new places around the world is something I feel passionate about.”

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

 “I have never had a pet in my life (even as a kid!) I have six siblings, so my parents never even considered getting us a pet to cause more trouble!”

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

  “I’m obsessed with life savers gummies and sour patch kids. If I could, I would create a gummy that was chewy like the life saver but sour and thick on the inside. I would call it ‘the life sour saver’.”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

  “Since the first day I started volunteering I have had nothing but positive experiences. My favorite experience happened when I first started at Children’s. I went to see a kid who had just gotten out of surgery; he wasn’t feeling well so when I got to his room he wasn’t in a great mood. I asked if he was in the mood to play. He said no to playing, but asked if I could stay and just hang out with him. I was more than determined to make him feel better and as time went by he started smiling and playing with me! I think this experience reflects the true reason behind why I’m here, I enjoy providing that positive experience kids need when they’re in the hospital. To know that you can be the person that can change someone’s day for the better is something to be proud of.”

Thank you for sharing your constant smile, playful energy and true passion for helping others with the patients and families at Children’s!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Vinh Dang

Friday, February 14th, 2014

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

Meet Vinh!

1.   Why he ROCKS?!

 “My time volunteering started at Red Cross, I originally did that because I thought it’d be a good experience, and I love helping people out. Last year I fell in love with the idea of everything pharmacy and getting to work in a hospital sounded like an opportunity I wouldn’t dare pass up. I’m currently pursuing a career in pharmacy, work in a pharmacy at Walgreens, and am a 4th semester PSEO student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “My favorite thing outside of volunteering is working in the pharmacy at Walgreens. I get so much joy out of helping others, and I can just tell it’s where I’m meant to be.”

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

 “No. Being only 18, I don’t plan on having any kids for a long time. As for pets, I once had 2 hermit crabs.”

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

 “Gummy narwhals. Pretty straight forward, but it’s hard not to love narwhals!”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

   “My most memorable volunteer experience was aiding in the comfort of 12 pre-schoolers in the Emergency Room waiting area as they went in for tests after a small bus accident. Being able to alleviate their worries and fears was immensely satisfying, especially when I got to see their faces light up as they ran to embrace their parents.”

Thanks for your reassuring demeanor and genuine excitement for helping others!  You truly have… heart!