Volunteer Services Welcomes Kristin Schumacher!

September 12th, 2013

Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is excited to welcome the newest member of our Volunteer Services team:  Kristin Schumacher!

 What better way to get to know Kristin than have her answer some fun questions?  Read her bio and check out her answers below!

Kristin is a past Children’s volunteer and Child Life intern! She recently moved to the cities from Duluth, where she was working as a Child Life Specialist in a Surgery department. Through her experiences in Child Life and as a volunteer, she realized the incredible importance and value of volunteers, and is thrilled to work with them in the Volunteer Services Department. Welcome back to Children’s, Kristin! 
 
 1. What excites you most about working at Children’s?

“The people! I am so excited to meet the staff and volunteers and work with each of them!”

2. Favorite thing to do outside of work?

“Arts and crafts! I love making cards, sewing and taking on do-it-yourself projects.”

3. Something unique or interesting about you?

“I have recently taken up hiking. This summer, I hiked to the highest point in Minnesota:  Eagle Mountain.”

4. Favorite Superhero?

“Iron Man.”

5. Do you have any pets?

“I don’t, but I LOVE animals!”

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

“An important, enjoyable, amazing, and incredible person that I want to be around!”

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

“I would create a s’more-style candy bar with marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate and peanut butter. I would call it ‘S’more, Please!’”

Welcome to the team, Kristin! We are excited for you to share your talents and get to know the staff & volunteers at Children’s!

Buds in Scrubs: Perla Morley

September 9th, 2013

Children’s Volunteer Services presents:

Buds in Scrubs!

1.   Meet Perla:

“I am a staff Spanish interpreter at the Minneapolis Campus and have been working at Children’s since 2004 (9 years)!”

2.   Favorite thing to do outside of work?

“I enjoy taking it easy with my husband and two sons.”

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

“Besides my two boys (ages 7 and 3), we have a cat called Maribel.”

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

“I don’t think that I have ONE favorite book, but one that made an impact on me was To Kill a Mockingbird.  Here’s one of my favorite quotes from it:

‘“Atticus, he was real nice.”

“Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”’

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

5.   Who was your hero as a kid?

“Wonder Woman.” :)

6.   Who is your hero now?

“Mother Teresa of Calcutta and people like her.”

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

“I am not very original. It would have walnuts, sesame seeds, peanuts, cashews, etc.,  sweetened with honey and dried fruit. I am a nut lover, so it would probably be called ‘Going Nuts!’”

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

“I find my work meaningful because, by definition, interpreting is helping others communicate. My job has also provided me the flexibility to care for my special needs child. I am very grateful for that.”

 9.   Share a work experience involving volunteers:

“I haven’t had the opportunity to work with volunteers as an interpreter (call me if you need one!), but my family has benefitted from the services of a volunteer! For two years, a volunteer came to our home to watch our special little boy through Children’s Pain and Palliative Care program. We were so blessed! Because of this personal experience, I hold all volunteers in the highest regard. Their job is priceless. They help make Children’s a warm, loving place. Thank you!”

Thank you, Perla, for sharing your kind heart and language skills with all of us here at Children’s!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Tayla Saccoman

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

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!

Thanks For Participating: 2013 Emergency Prep Exercise!

August 7th, 2013

 

On Wednesday, July 31, an Emergency Preparedness exercise was held on the Children’s-Minneapolis campus.  The scenario?  A building collapse, injuring many…volunteers helped simulate this situation by serving as “patients,” “family members,” and escorts!

Thanks to our volunteers, our staff was able to practice their reactions and apply procedures to a plausible situation, ensuring that they would be prepared to take care of real patients and family members if a similar situation arose!

We send a special thanks to the volunteers who participated… the drill would not have been as successful without the use of live participants!

Buds in Scrubs: Kathy Misk

August 2nd, 2013

 

Children’s Volunteer Services presents:

Buds in Scrubs!

1.   Meet Kathy:

 Kathy Misk has been an RN at Children’s for 27 years! She currently works in the Emergency Department. Kathy has a passion for helping, and this shows daily in her interactions and care for the patients and families at Children’s.

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of work?

“My favorite thing to do outside of work is to hang out with my family, I also love to volunteer.  As a family we love to sail, swim, and ski.”

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

“I have three daughters: Mariah, Natalie and Brianna. Captain is our dog; he is a yellow lab and we adore him.”

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

“My favorite movie is “An officer and a gentleman” and my favorite book is “The Shack”.

 5.   Who was your hero as a kid?

“My childhood hero was my mom. She was strong and had courage to always do the right thing, even when it was not easy.”

 6.   Who is your hero now?

“My mom is still my hero today.”

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

    “If I were to create a candy bar it would consist of organic oats, raisins, pretzels, caramel, and dark chocolate. I would call it ‘love my sweets’.”

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

“My favorite saying is, ‘people may not remember what you said or did for them, however they will remember how you made them feel.’ I practice my profession with this in mind.

I have the best job in the whole world, it keeps me humble and aware of how precious life is.” 

 9.   Share a work experience involving volunteers:

“The volunteers make such a big difference for the kids; play helps them forget they are sick. Last week we had a volunteer bring us blankets; it came in very useful for a very sick baby. The mother was so grateful and so were we.”

 Thank you, Kathy, for sharing your compassion, and skills with the patients and families we serve!

Volunteer at the State Fair!

August 1st, 2013

Are you looking to give back AND gain a free ticket into the Minnesota State Fair?
Volunteer at the Children’s booth!

The booth will focus on health and safety through interactive and informative activity stations!

Anyone 18 or older can volunteer, and training will be provided for each station upon arrival.
Did I mention free admission and a free t-shirt??

Volunteers are needed every day of the fair (August 22-September 2) for the following shifts:

8:00-11:30 AM
11:00-2:30 PM
2:00-5:30 PM
5:00-8:30 PM

*Note: day shifts fill quickly, most needs are evenings, weekends, and Labor Day weekend

Interested? Email: ingrid.arnold@childrensMN.org

Red-Vested Rockstar: Daniela Brito

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!

Buds in Scrubs: Justin Theodotou

July 5th, 2013

Children’s Volunteer Services presents:

Buds in Scrubs!

1.   Meet Justin:

“I started in the Children’s marketing and communication department in the fall of 2010 as a public relations coordinator. I get to tell the world about how we make kiddos feel better.”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of work?

“I love skiing in the mountains, camping, spending time with friends and family and agonizing over Vikings football.”

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

 “Do my two roommates count?

 I grew up with pets (dogs, cats, and a fish that only lasted a few hours before jumping down the drain), but don’t have any of my own now. My parents have a little, white bichon – who they’ve deemed my “evil twin,” since we share a birthday – who I love to play with when I’m on their side of the river.”

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

“My favorite movie, hands down, is The Princess Bride. It has been since I was a kid. It combines so many elements of a great movie: adventure, humor, suspense, creative characters and a great story.”

 5.   Who was your hero as a kid?

“I loved comic books as a kid, so anyone with superpowers and a cape I did my best to emulate (I also had a pair of Superman pajamas, which I wore almost constantly).”

 6.   Who is your hero now?

    “More and more, I find I am surrounded be wonderful people with inspiring stories, but, if I had to pick one person, it would have to be my dad. He’s shown me that being a real man includes equal parts changing the oil in your car and splitting wood as it does being a gentleman and being kind to others. He embodies those qualities and I hope to emulate him.”

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

    “If someone made a candy bar that combined peanuts, nougat and caramel, all covered in chocolate…wait, that’s a Snickers bar and I already love them!”

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

    “I feel privileged that so many families over the years have allowed me a small glimpse into their lives, at some of their toughest moments. Seeing your child sick or in pain is hard; really hard. If it’s for a day, a week, or months on end, I’m amazed by how thankful parents are for the care that their children receive here. Getting the chance to share that feeling of gratefulness – usually coupled with an against-all-odds story – is a pleasure and an honor.”

 9.   Share a work experience involving volunteers:

    “I am a huge fan of our PAWH program, in which volunteers and their trained therapy dogs come to children’s to visit patients or participate in therapy sessions. It’s so beautiful to see what a difference the presence of a friendly dog makes in the lives of our patients, and brings a sense of normalcy to the otherwise abnormal situation of being hospitalized.”

 Thank you, Justin, for your enthusiasm, drive, and passion for Children’s!

Volunteers Needed: Emergency Preparedness Exercise!

July 3rd, 2013

Volunteers Needed: Emergency Preparedness Exercise!

 What: We create a scenario (e.g., a building collapses, injuring hundreds!) and have volunteer ‘patients’ and ‘family members’ run through the process of how we (ER, surgery, admissions, etc.) would respond to a large scale emergency in our community.

 Who: We need volunteers of varying ages to serve as patients (younger volunteers, siblings, friends or neighbors), and a few older teen/adult volunteers to act as family members of the ‘patients.’  

You do NOT need to be a Children’s volunteer to participate, but we do need your info to get you officially signed up!

 Day: Wednesday, 7/31

Time: TBD (somewhere between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm) 

 Interested? Contact Ingrid Arnold ingrid.arnold@childrensmn.org or call: (612) 813-6170