Archive for the ‘Red Vested Rockstar’ Category

Red-Vested Rockstar: Gretchen Arana

Friday, January 17th, 2014

 

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!

 

Red-Vested Rockstar: Rachel Comfort

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

 

 

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!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Rui Raposo

Friday, December 20th, 2013

 

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

Meet Rui!

 1.   Why he ROCKS?!

 “I got involved at Children`s because I hope to become a pediatric nurse. Volunteering is the best way to gain experience, and give back to the community. I am originally from South Africa and been living in the U.S. for 3 years. I currently speak four languages and hope to learn more.”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “When I am not at college, I travel as much as possible! I am looking forward to going to South Africa in June.” 

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

 “I have a moody tabby cat that I adore. Salta is seven years old, and is obsessed with sleeping.”

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

 “It would need to have the following layers:
A crunchy almond base, layers and layers of shredded coconuts, one layer of caramel, one layer of Peanut butter and finally,
COVERED IN CHOCOLATE…pure bliss! I would call it; ‘Eat this’!”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

 “When volunteering, I frequently speak Spanish with patients and families. Recently I had a play date with a patient who only spoke Spanish. Being a child in a hospital is overwhelming, not having anyone to speak your native language is beyond frightening to say the least! We spent the afternoon coloring, and playing with play-Doh. Having some sort of familiarity to someone, even if I was stranger, brought some security that she was understood. Understanding a non-English speaker in a language they understand makes healthcare universal and satisfying.”

Thank you, Rui, for being a part of the Children’s team. Your enthusiasm, talents, and ability to connect with our patients and families are invaluable!

 

Red-Vested Rockstar: Emily Machi-Conigliaro

Friday, November 8th, 2013

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

Meet Emily!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 Emily has been volunteering at Children’s on the inpatient units (most recently, the Infant Care Center) since January 2013! She brings enthusiasm to her shift each week, and has a clear passion for helping provide comfort to our patients!  Why has she chosen to give her time to Children’s?  “When my niece was just over one year old, she became critically ill and spent about two months at Children’s Hospital.  I was so amazed by all the good work that happened there that I wanted to give back.”

2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

“I love to spend time outside with my family.  We frequently ride bikes, have picnics, and visit playgrounds. I also love to cook and bake.”

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

“I have two kids of my own: Avery (5 years old) and Ian (2 years old).  They keep me busy all day long as a stay-at-home mom. I also have a dog named Linus and a husband, Paul.”

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

“I don’t think I could make a candy bar more perfect than the ‘Take 5.’  It is my favorite and has all my favorite things in a candy bar!”

5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

“My favorite part of volunteering is snuggling with babies.  They are so much calmer and happier when someone can hold them.”

 Thank you, Emily, for your support of Children’s and the patients that we serve!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Jack Schneck

Friday, October 25th, 2013

 

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

Meet Jack!

1.   Why he ROCKS?!

 “I’ve always been interested in healthcare and I am currently applying to medical school. My friend got me involved at Children’s in High School and I really enjoyed my time there, while gaining insight into the hospital world. Fun fact about me is that I am also a professional DJ.”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “With free time I often bike, sail, or do other outdoor activities. I also love live music concerts and movies too.”

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

 “Does a bonsai tree count?”

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

 “My candy bar would contain dark chocolate, almonds, and pretzels. Call it, ‘SS’ (salty sweet) crunch bar, or something like that.”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

  “A favorite memory was a morning I spent with a child who didn’t speak english very well. Without exchanging many words, we spent the entire morning together, and it went by so fast! I had been a little curious how it was going to work out when I started, and was amazed by how easily we got along and how much you can do/fun you can have without talking a lot.”

 You brighten the days of our patients when you are here, Jack! Thank you for your contributions to Children’s!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Doreen Schlangen

Friday, September 20th, 2013

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

Meet Doreen!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 “My first real job was in the medical field.  I was a medical lab technician at St. Cloud Hospital for 5 years full-time and 2 years part-time, then I went back to school for computer programming.  When I left the medical field, I promised myself that one day, when the time was right, I would find my way back into medicine in a different capacity.  The only thing that I could do without a salary was volunteer.  Twenty years after leaving the medical field, I started volunteering at Children’s and have been here for the past 11 years.  When you are successful and have much to be thankful for, it is your responsibility to give back. Volunteering lets me do that.”

2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

“Anything athletic or outside – working out at LifeTime Fitness, biking, running, golfing, etc.”

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

“No.”

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

“It would have to have nuts, chocolate and caramel with an almond cream filling.  I’d call it ‘Alnutso.’”

5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

“The most rewarding nights in the NICU are when you have a baby that has had issues all day long, but when you rock them, they settle in quickly and are quiet for the entire time.  That is why I chose to come here.”

Thank you, Doreen, for providing that extra TLC to our little patients!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Tayla Saccoman

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Tayla hard at work!

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

Meet Tayla!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

“I began volunteering at a soup kitchen when I was in high school, and did that for a couple of years. I started because I wanted to give back in some way, and stayed because of all the awesome people I met. It was a lot of fun, but completely different then my experience here at Children’s. I love kids and have always bonded with them; I just felt this place calling to me when a friend of mine told me about her experience here. I remember telling Jenna in my interview that I wanted to volunteer here more than I’ve wanted anything in a long time. I am currently working at a local coffee/wine bistro and living life!”

2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

“I love biking and hanging with friends and my boyfriend…mostly enjoying the summer while it’s here! We are always having a good time no matter what we do!”

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

“No kids. As far as pets go, there are just my roommates Luke and Bryan. Haha…just kidding, guys.  =) No pets yet!”

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

“Oh, that’s easy; every type of chocolate mixed into one. And maybe throw some pop rocks in there…and chili peppers. I’d call it “The Explosion”…oooo, I like that name!”

5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

“This is a tough one, because every day I leave Children’s with a story to tell. My first day I was up on the floors, I held a six-week-old baby:  he was so sweet and quiet and just stared at me with his sweet newborn blue eyes. Right then, I knew that this place was going to impact me in a way I wasn’t anticipating. A more recent story is from the Sibling Play Area. There’s the sweetest little four-year-old boy that I see every week, and every week I see him get so excited to see his little sister. Last Monday he told me all about her and when his mom and sister came to pick him up, he was so excited for me to meet her! He waved me over anxiously, grabbed her face and gave her a big kiss on the forehead. What a wonderful moment to see!”

We adore your positive energy, contagious smile and love for kids! Thanks for volunteering, Tayla!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Carolina Valladares

Friday, August 9th, 2013

 

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

Meet Carolina!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 “I’m currently studying Child Psychology at The University of Minnesota.  My goal is to one day be a Child Life Specialist at Children’s!  My little sister was an oncology patient here at Children’s and I’m incredibly grateful to have had such awesome volunteers to make the experience less scary.  Volunteering is my way of giving back and it is also a way to remember my little sister. I love walking into a room and seeing how much hope the kids have. They have a joy about life that is pretty unexplainable.”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “I love to spend time with my friends and family. In the summer I like to go to the beach and to drive-in movies!”

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

 “I have a guinea pig named Stuart, a betta fish named Charlina, and two dogs named Bella and tinker! I guess you could say that my family loves animals!”

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

 “I would somehow mix Oreo cookies and caramel together.  I would name it ‘Cookie Crumbs’!”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

  “I look forward to coming in every week to volunteer because it is always a different story and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to play with the kids.  I’m fluent in Spanish so it’s always fun when I get the chance to speak Spanish with the kids! One of my favorite experiences was being able to interact with a little boy who only spoke Spanish.  I’m glad that my Spanish comes in handy at times!”

Thanks for volunteering, Carolina! Your passion for Children’s, and kids are evident in the work that you do!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Daniela Brito

Monday, July 29th, 2013

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

Meet Daniela!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

“Ever since my brother was 8 months old, we have been in and out of the hospital because of his medical condition. I still remember when volunteers came in his room here at Children’s to play with him and I. Other times, we would come to Children’s and my brother and I would play in the Sibling Play Area.  Now, I feel that I can really connect with the kids that I volunteer with in the Sibling Play Area!”

A bit more about Daniela: “I’m learning Korean, and like making desserts. This year, I will be starting high school (9th grade). I do homeschooling and I really enjoy it!”

2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

“Spending time with my friends/family and learning Korean.”

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

“I have two dogs:  Cookie is the mom and Sugar is the daughter.”

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

“Coconut, pecans and milk chocolate would be in it. I would call it ‘Crazy Coconut.’”

5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

“It was time for me to leave the Sibling Play Area because my shift was over. One of the little girls that I was playing with didn’t want me to leave; she wanted me to stay and play with her some more. I ended up staying a couple minutes extra to played with her. Doing that made me feel happy because I saw that the kids enjoy playing with me!”

Thank you, Daniela, for sharing your family’s positive experiences at Children’s! Your compassion and love for kids shows each time you volunteer!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Mike Igoe

Friday, June 28th, 2013

 

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

Meet Mike!

1.   Why he ROCKS?!

 “I am currently a junior attending the University of Minnesota working towards my Civil Engineering degree. I started volunteering because I have always wanted to give back to the community and help kids. I believe in trying to help anybody who needs it, and make positive differences in the lives of kids. Also, my girlfriend was at Children’s when she was a kid, and said she always looked forward to the volunteers coming in as it made the long days in the hospital feel much shorter. This made me want to volunteer at Children’s even more.”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

  “I really enjoy going up to my grandparents cabin in the Summer: going wakeboarding, and playing golf.”

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

 “I have two dogs, Chloe a Yellow Lab and Sophie a Black Lab.”

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

 “I would combine smooth caramel and peanuts and surround it with hard butterscotch; simple but delicious. I would call it Butter Crunch.”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

 “I volunteer on the floors and in the Sibling Play area; my favorite experience comes from the sibling play area. Every week, this one boy would come in for an hour and a half to play. He immediately liked playing with me but when he would come back the following week, he would not remember who I was or know my name. After a month or two, when I was unable to be there right when he came in, he would ask the staff member where I was, and when I was coming in. When I showed up, he lit up and was very excited to see me. Ever since hehas always recognized me and has been very happy when we get to play.”

 Thank you, Mike, for being such a rockstar! Your calm, inviting demeanor is perfect for our kids in Sibling Play!