Archive for the ‘Red Vested Rockstar’ Category

Red-Vested Rockstar: Fanny Jimbo

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

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

Meet Fanny!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 “My interest in volunteering started when I was in high school. I always wanted to help my community, but I did not know where or how to start. I started volunteering at my church, but I did not feel satisfied. Later in my high school year, I participated in this program called Internship/Mentorship where I was given the opportunity to explore a career of my interest while also doing community work. I chose Children’s Hospitals and Clinics because I was confident that I wanted to be a pediatrician someday. Throughout my three years volunteering at Children’s, I have discovered that my interests are different than the desire to serve as a member of the medical personnel. With this message in mind, I went around my community, especially the Latino community, and started tutoring adult students. These volunteer experiences have helped me find my definition of helping:  dedicating my time to provide a positive experience for families and children. Currently, I am attending the University of Minnesota:  I am a junior majoring in Individualized Studies with emphases in Child Psychology, Family Social Science and Public Health. Also, I am a peer mentor for Freshmen Latinos. I will be studying abroad in South Africa this upcoming winter break!”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “When I am not volunteering, I enjoy dancing and scrapbooking. I also enjoy spending time with family, watching scary movies, and playing tennis and soccer.”

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

 “No.”

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

 “My new candy bar’s name would be KARM. It would be made of milk chocolate, inside would have caramel, and it would be covered with coconut strips.”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

 “It was a Friday, and I was beginning my shift. As usual, I went up to the 8th floor to check in with the nurses and see if they needed a volunteer. As I was walking onto the floor, I heard people speaking in Spanish. I was not sure what was going on, so slowly I walked up to the nurses. As I was walking in, this 6-year old girl looked at me and said, “Do you want to play with me?” I was not expecting this immediate invitation; however I knelt down and happily responded with a “yes.” At first, we were playing Candy Land. As we were playing, she mentioned that she was going home. She was very happy! However, she said she was going to miss the hospital, especially the volunteers! As we were finishing our tenth round of Candy Land, she wanted to take a ride on a wagon. We were getting ready to go for a ride when we noticed filmmakers coming in. I did not know what was going on. From her family, I found out that she was shooting a video about her successful therapy. As they were getting ready to start the video, I was ready to leave, but the little girl stopped me and asked me to stay with her. Other than having cultural connections with this family, I was able to be part of a positive experience that this little girl could encounter during her stay at Children’s Hospital.”

 Thank you so much, Fanny, for helping to create positive experiences for the patients and families here at Children’s!

 

 

Red-Vested Rockstar: Harper Skulley

Friday, February 8th, 2013

 

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

Meet Harper!

1.   Why she ROCKS!!

“My family has been involved with various volunteer work for as long as I can remember.  When I found out that I could volunteer at Children’s when I was fourteen, I was really excited because I didn’t think I’d be able to volunteer at a hospital until I was an adult. I love reading and all kinds of books, so working in the Hide-a-Way Library is an absolutely perfect fit.” Harper has given her time to Children’s since  May of 2011. She has such positive energy, and is always willing to help! She is a joy to work with, and we believe that she brightens the days of the patients and families that she works with!

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

“I love ballet:  I have been dancing classical ballet for twelve years and regularly perform with Ballet Minnesota. I also enjoy baking and crafts; really, anything artsy.”

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

 “My family has two bunnies named Mochi and Truffle.”

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

“I love French macaroons, so some sort of dark chocolate macaroon bar with a lavender chocolate ganache center. I probably call it a MegaMac Bar.”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

“I don’t know if I have a favorite volunteer memory, because every time I’m at Children’s is so special and I get so much back. I get to share my love of reading with kids, and seeing kids happily reading a pile of books always brightens my day.”

Thank you, Harper, for all that you do!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Cooper Rapp

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Cooper playing the infamous Pac-Man game!

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

Meet Cooper!

1.   Why he ROCKS?!

 Cooper, often known at Children’s as ‘Super Cooper,’ has been volunteering with us since 2011! He spends most of his time on the inpatient floors, but has also helped out in our hematology-oncology clinic and many other areas. Listen to how he got involved in volunteering: “I got into volunteering through my desire to pursue a career in the field of medicine. Also, because kids rock! I love to play video games, run, and eat good food. Aside from volunteering, I’m a student, researcher, and laboratory preparation assistant at the University of St. Thomas. GO TOMMIES!!”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

  “Outside of volunteering, I like to play Super Smash Brothers on the N64 or Wii with my friends.”

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

 “No kids, but an awesome little Tibetan Terrier named Ruby. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to most furry little critters, but for some reason, not to Ruby. Thank goodness!”

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

 “Well, it would definitely have Whoppers, toffee, and caramel in it…also, whatever they put inside Three Musketeers bars, because that stuff is awesome. All that would be wrapped up in some thick milk chocolate, and it would be called Magnitude.”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

  “A few months ago, I was volunteering at the hospital with a little boy who wanted to play Pokémon with me. He had a huge stack of cards… [and] told me that he didn’t want to play the normal card game, he wanted to play the “other” one. He explained that he wanted to play through the original GameBoy game story line using his actual cards. We each picked one of the original starter Pokémon (Pikachu included) and had our first rival battle with each other. Then, using our pooled knowledge of the original game, we constructed accurate lineups for each of the eight original gym leaders using what cards we had available. … After we had defeated Giovanni, I set up the Elite Four lineups for him to complete. Being the Elite Four, new rules came into effect. He had to beat each of the Elite Four simultaneously, with accumulating damage and knockouts carrying over into the next battle…After he defeated each member, it was time for his final battle with his rival… Needless to say, I was soundly defeated and we celebrated our new Pokémon champion, taking the time to induct each of his starting six into the ‘Pokémon Hall of Fame’. I spent three and a half hours reliving some of the best times of my entire childhood. Awesome.  Just awesome.”

 We think that YOU are awesome, Cooper!  Thanks so much for all that you do!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Ardie Arko

Friday, January 11th, 2013

 

Ardie & Murray on Give to the Max Day

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

Meet Ardie…and Murray!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 Ardie has brought two generations of therapy dogs to Children’s: her beautiful Sheltie, Molly, and now her handsome Sheltie, Murray! She began volunteering at Children’s in 2008, and is an integral part of our PAWH (Pets Assisting with Healing) program, volunteering multiple days each week! Here is her background story: “I was at agility training and discovered that my first Sheltie, Molly, could no longer be involved with agility due to a bad back.  Someone in the class suggested that we might want to pursue training as a therapy dog team.   I was completely unaware that such an activity existed, so I began my research.  Molly and I began the training program, became registered as a therapy dog team, and began visiting regularly at Methodist Hospital.  I retired and became available during days that enabled us to become part of the teams at Children’s Hospital, and I have been working in the rehab areas of Children’s-St. Paul, Minneapolis, Maple Grove and Minnetonka, as well as visiting patient floors at Children’s-Minneapolis.”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “As a result of my interest in therapy work, I joined a group called North Star Therapy Animals and am currently a board member and treasurer.  I love reading and belong to a mystery book club.  I have a new grandson and love to spend lots of time with him, as well as with my daughter and her husband.  I do a bit of fishing and a lot of gardening in the summer time, and enjoy a warm ten days in the winter (not here!).”

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

 “Our dog Molly passed away a few weeks ago, but Murray has been taking her spot in the therapy dog arena.  He is now four years old and really enjoys the children.  We also have two cats, Max and Franky.  We have three grandsons – would love a granddaughter but probably not going to happen!”

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

 “This one will be a work in progress…!”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

 “I have had so many great experiences as a therapy dog team.  One Saturday, I received a phone call from Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis about a little girl who had had surgery on Thursday, but the staff was having a really hard time getting her to sleep.  She loved dogs with a passion, and we were asked to visit to see if we could to possibly help her rest.  I placed Murray in bed with her and, of course, she was delighted.  She petted him, hugged him and talked to him.  After a bit of time, she asked her father for her blanket, which he provided with a great deal of hope.  We had thought she was going to curl up and possibly sleep with Murray next to her.  Not so: she took the blanket and covered Murray with it.  Murray went to sleep!  However, much to our delight, she fell asleep a bit later.”

Red-Vested Rockstar: Robert Mills III

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Robert delivering blankets!

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

Meet Robert!

1.   Why he ROCKS?!

 “My lifelong dream has been to be a pediatrician.  After working several years in the education field, I decided to go back to school to pursue my dream and figured, what better place to gain experience working with children in a medical setting than at Children’s Hospital?” We are thrilled to have Robert volunteer with us on our St. Paul Campus. He has assisted with pre-surgery tours and on the inpatient units, excelling wherever he is placed! Robert has incredible energy, as well as a positive outlook:  he is an ideal volunteer!

2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

“Outside of volunteering, I love to play on my XBOX 360.” We are sure that Robert gets plenty of practice here on the inpatient floors!

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

“I have two sons, Elijah (7) and Aden (4).  I also have two pet goldfish that the kids named EJ and Julio.” :)

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

“If I could make a candy bar, it would have to be a mix of Snickers and Turtle.  It would include milk chocolate, peanuts, pecans, caramel, and creamy nougat.  I would name it a Snurckle.”

5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

“There was an 11-year-old who came in for the pre-surgery program when all of the other kids were five or younger.  He, of course, felt out of place with all of the younger kids, so I really tried to connect with him on an 11-year-old level to make the program enjoyable.  We talked about video games, what we liked and didn’t like about middle school,  and sports.  We both had a good time during PSP, and I found out that when he came back for his surgery, the first thing that he asked the Child Life Specialist was, “Where’s Robert?”  It was really cool to know that in our short amount of time together, I made a positive impression on his hospital experience.”

Thank you, Robert, for all that you do!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Fatima Ahmad

Friday, December 14th, 2012

 

Fatima and her favorite childhood character... Elmo!

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

 Meet Fatima!

1.   Why she ROCKS!!

Some would describe this week’s Rockstar as a “positive, energetic person”…we could not agree more!  Fatima brings her energy, love of play, and honest desire to help others to our hospital every Thursday afternoon…and she is only a high school sophomore!  “I started volunteering because I wanted to make a change; I wanted to make a difference. The only problem? I was only about 14 when I first signed up! Luckily, Children’s allowed volunteers of my age.  I fell in love with everything about this hospital:  the kind people, the amazing volunteers, and the inspiring patients.  I just try to live an optimistic life.”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

“My favorite things to do outside of volunteering are probably reading and theater. Some of my favorite books include ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘The Book Thief.” For theater, I like being backstage and helping there.”

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

 “No:  sadly, I have no pets, and I’m too young to have children!”

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

“If I could make a new candy bar, I would name it Chuckles. It would be made of milk chocolate and inside would be caramel swirls.  It would have layers too:  one of chocolate, one of caramel, and one in the middle of white chocolate!”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

“My favorite volunteer experience is probably sitting with a patient and playing Wii…which I am awful at!!  The patient and I had a blast playing Mario Kart and talking!”

Thank you, Fatima, for all that you do! 

Red-Vested Rockstar: Pamela Neal

Friday, November 30th, 2012

 

 

Ready to deliver cozy blankets!

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

 Meet Pamela!

1.   Why she ROCKS!!

 “My name is Pamela Neal and I have been volunteering for over 15 years: the past six have been with Children’s Hospital, St. Paul. I have enjoyed over 1500 hours of great times with some awesome children. What most people don’t see when they look at me is that I love to be goofy. Children just love it when an adult does the unpredictable!” Pamela has helped Children’s in so many ways, volunteering in many roles including helping at events, in the library, at the Welcome Desk, in Epilepsy and on the inpatient floors. Her smile is contagious, and we feel so grateful to have her on our volunteer team.

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “Outside of volunteering, I enjoy gourmet cooking, exercise, reading, travel, photography and the lake. I never tire of the ever-changing scenery and seeing numerous animals in their natural habitat.”

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

 “I have two daughters and have had many pets, including dogs, cats, horses, birds, chickens, a donkey, goat and pig. And I love cows; they are so funny to watch!”

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

 “I would LOVE TO! Realistically, almost everyone loves candy. To find natural healthy ingredients which would satisfy the senses, but do not contain the high amounts of sugars and fat would be the goal. I’m a caramel-chocolate-nut kind of girl…’”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

  “My favorite story revolves around the many children who I’ve been gifted in being a part of their growth and development. Sadly, many children remain in the hospital for an extended period of time. I connect with these children on a daily basis to complement their continuity of care. As a volunteer, the children become comfortable with our daily interaction, which provides a person who they know will come to play and comfort them. To see their smiles when you enter the room just makes my day.”

“Volunteering is a calling. I am compelled to spend as much time as I can with the children whose parents are unable to give the time needed to a child in the hospital. Short hospital stays are traumatic enough for a child and their family; children who spend extended amounts of time in the hospital don’t understand that their parents/family have so many other obligations such as other children, work, or living far away. The nurses and other hospital employees are not always able to spend the amount of time a child with a child that they require (which is where volunteers come in). The personal reward is priceless. “

“A huge thanks to all of the staff and Children’s Hospital for providing their support of volunteers!”

Red-Vested Rockstar: Sophie Fiore

Friday, November 9th, 2012

"Thumbs up" to Children's!

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

 Meet Sophie!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 Sophie started volunteering in the spring of 2011. She is now a freshman at the University of Minnesota, and feels lucky to be close enough to continue volunteering at Children’s. (We feel so lucky to have her!) During the summers, Sophie teaches theater and art to kids at a summer camp. She loves kids and their ‘spectacular imaginations,’ and hopes that ‘wherever her studies take her, it will be as fulfilling and fun as working with the awesome kids at Children’s.’ We are honored to call her a Red-Vested Rockstar!

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “I love to read more than anything. I’ll read anything I can get my hands on! I also love writing, traveling, school, being outside, and just spending time with people I love!”

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

 “My family has two little dogs named Louie and Buster. They are such handfuls, but I love them so much!”

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

 “Oh, yum! If I could make any kind of candy bar, I would want it to be made of Nutella, dark chocolate, and raspberry filling. I would call it ‘Chocoberry Charm!’”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

  “I have had countless wonderful experiences volunteering, but one time in particular that I remember was playing Pokemon cards with this little boy. He was very shy and didn’t talk to me for a long time…but I had no idea how to play the game, and kept losing all my cards! After a while, he thought it was hilarious. By the end of the night, he was talking endlessly and teaching me exactly how to play. It’s always so great to see kids open up to someone so quickly. To see him smile and laugh was the best feeling. I also really love being able to talk with Ingrid (my Monday night coordinator) and work with all of the wonderful Monday night volunteers!”

Red Vested Rockstar: Angela Chang

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Angela catching a ride!

 

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

 Meet Angela!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 Angela started volunteering at Children’s  in 2006. She loves kids ‘and their adorable smiles’ and simply has a blast volunteering here! Angela has helped out on the inpatient units, in the Surgery Family Waiting Room, and most recently serves as a Peri-operative Escort in the Surgery Department. Within the past year, her passion for Children’s found her a position as a medical scribe at Children’s on the St. Paul Campus. She just can’t get enough of Children’s!

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “I love dancing, shopping, sewing and spending time with family and friends!”

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

 “No, not yet at least!”

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

 “I think if I made a new candy bar, it would have to be a chocolate-covered cookie, hazelnut and caramel candy. I would call it Crazelnuts!’

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

    “There are an endless amount of great experiences I’ve had volunteering. The most recent I would say, was when my hip hop student group (Hip Hope) from the University of Minnesota was featured live on Star Studio. It was so much fun to talk and play games with kids over the phone or in person. At the end, we had a little guy in the audience who decided to join us up on stage to dance!”

 

Red-Vested Rockstar: Marjorie Branum

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Marjorie having fun in the office!

 

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

Meet Marjorie!

1.   Why she ROCKS!?!

 Marjorie is working towards her nursing degree at Normandale, with the goal of becoming a pediatric nurse! When her class was told that Children’s was looking for volunteers, she leapt at the opportunity. Marjorie volunteers because she adores children and wants to make a difference in their lives, even if only for a few hours a week.

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “Some of my favorite things include spending time with my husband and family, reading (my husband teases me that I could open a library with all of the books that I have), sewing, and baking.”

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

 “Three lovely cats have adopted my husband and I.”

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

 “I’m more of a cupcake girl than a candy bar girl, but I would want to make a candy bar with raspberries and lemon, wrapped in either white or dark chocolate…or a candy bar that tastes like Dr. Pepper, my favorite soda!’

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

   “One of my favorite things about volunteering at Children’s is watching the children interact. These children will share, look out for, and comfort other children that they have just met! It is so awesome! I have seen a child plant a plant with Leonard (horticultural therapy volunteer), then turn around and give it to another child who was unable to plant one because she was having some tests run that didn’t allow her to plant one herself. Children have invited others to play with them so that no one feels left out. I have overheard one child tell another patient not to be afraid of getting an MRI, then explain how it works in a simplistic manner. Every day is my favorite day at Children’s!”