Red-Vested Rockstar: Rachel Lerman

May 31st, 2013

 

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

 Meet Rachel!

1.   Why she ROCKS?!

 “I first applied to volunteer at the hospital when I was in 8th grade.  I always have loved helping people and giving back to my community.  My older sister was also a volunteer, so I followed in her footsteps.  I officially started when I was a freshman, and have spent time on various floors.  I am currently a senior in high school, and spend a lot of my time not only volunteering at the hospital, but at many other organizations.”  

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “Outside of volunteering, I love spending time with my family, shopping, and traveling to new places.”

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

 “I have a dog named Bella.  She is a little white fluffy dog.”

 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 have peanut butter, caramel, milk chocolate, and Rice Krispy cereal. I would name it ChocoPop.”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

   “When I first started volunteering, I was in the NICU.  Week after week, I walked in and held the same baby over and over again.  It was an eye-opening experience to connect with that baby during my volunteering.  Another experience occurred when I was on 3rd floor playing with a young boy.  In the middle of us talking and playing, he looked up at me and said, “You know, one day I will be like you; volunteering here when I am old enough.  I want to help people.”  It was amazing to hear someone so young saying this, and to see what an impact people can have on others.”

Thank you, Rachel, for being an exemplary volunteer! Your caring touch enriches the experience of our patients!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Chase Tokarczyk

May 17th, 2013

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

Meet Chase!

1.   Why he ROCKS?!

 “My niece and nephew were both patients here at Children’s when they were born with heart defects.  Volunteering at Children’s is my way of giving back for saving two wonderful lives.”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “Outside of volunteering, I love to play music (mostly the guitar) for my friends and family.”

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

 “I have three pets: 2 dogs and 1 parrot.”

 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 be an Oreo covered in caramel, then layered with milk chocolate. I would call this creation the ‘Caramel King!’”

5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

       “I was pushing a young boy around in a little car through the hallways…after a while, he began to hum the theme to Batman:  nah-nah-nah nah-nah-Batman!  This made my week, since Batman is my favorite superhero.”

 Thank you, Chase, for being such a rockstar! Your smile and enthusiasm are an asset to Children’s!

Buds in Scrubs: Cheryl Bauer

May 7th, 2013

 

Children’s Volunteer Services presents:

Buds in Scrubs!

1.   Meet Cheryl:

Cheryl is an RN on the 6th floor at Children’s—Minneapolis. She has been at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota for 23 years! Cheryl utilizes Volunteer Services with many of her patients, offering them some one-on-one playtime outside of their medical care.

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of work?

“Hanging out with friends and family!”

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

“Sadly, I do not currently have any pets.”

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

“My favorite movie is The Sound of Music.”

 5.   Who was your hero as a kid?

“My dad.”

 6.   Who is your hero now?

“All of my co-workers here; they do awesome work!”

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

    “Chocolate, caramel and Macadamia Nuts: I would call it a ‘Maui Bar.’”

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

“The kids and families!”

 9.   Share a work experience involving volunteers:

“I remember having a very busy assignment one day, and a patient with no parents here. This one volunteer hung out with this toddler for at least 3 hours and made him very happy! She was so great with him! Volunteers really help us on the floors so much every day! I can’t imagine our hospital without them!”

 Thank you, Cheryl!  Your passion for nursing (and the patients & families that we serve) is evident!

It Takes a Team!

April 26th, 2013

From all of us at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, THANK YOU, VOLUNTEERS, for your smiles, positive spirits, time, and compassion for the patients and families we serve! We are thankful for your service!

“Please thank the excellent volunteer that helped me today. He was fantastic with my patient and played with him for several hours in CVCC this afternoon.  I have not seen my patient this happy during this admission, and the volunteer is to thank for that.” -CVCC RN

“A mom stopped by today and mentioned that the two things that really make her son’s day at Children’s are: X-Box and VOLUNTEERS!!” -Family Resource Center Employee

“Every time a volunteer approached, it brought a smile from [our child]. They brought her crafts to work on, got her hooked on Bingo, played games with her, played cards, played Wii, and basically did anything she asked of them. Each volunteer spoke with our child honestly and intellectually. They brought true friendship and encouragement to our daughter. And, again, they took time from their lives each day to spend time with our daughter. THAT is priceless to us!” -Family Comment (check out their guest blog post here: Family Thank-You Letter to Children’s Volunteers!)

From Mom to Volunteer: Lori’s Story

April 25th, 2013

 

Check out Lori’s story below. From visiting Children’s as a mother of a premature baby girl, to becoming an inpatient volunteer. What a testament to the volunteers that give their time and talents to the little ones we serve! 

Mother daughter winter vacation in Vegas!

“The journey that brought me to the volunteer team at Minneapolis Children’s began on July 28, 1993; when my daughter Paige Webb was a patient in NICU/ICC.  During that time, I was touched by volunteers that would hold and comfort Paige when we could not be there. A gift I wanted to return or more appropriately pay forward. Paige is a happy, healthy college freshman at Gustavus Adolphus College; and thrilled that she is the inspiration for my volunteering.”

               What an incredible way to give back. Thank you for sharing your story, time, and positive spirit with Children’s!

Volunteer Services: Did You Know???

April 24th, 2013

Did you know that….

…last year alone, volunteers spent time with 31,225 patients?

….the average age of our hospital volunteers is 29?

…Children’s has over 1900 active volunteers?

…last year, our trained therapy dogs spent over 1,800 hours with patients!

…volunteers distribute over 9,000 library books to patient rooms annually?

…nearly 70% of our volunteers are interested in healthcare careers?

…last year alone, 10 volunteers became Children’s employees?

Children’s Volunteer Services has a tremendous reputation due to our talented, dedicated, ALL-STAR volunteers!

Administrative Volunteers: Behind the Scenes at Children’s

April 23rd, 2013
Most of our volunteers give of their time on the inpatient units, but several support staff in administrative roles in a wide variety of departments!


Psychological Services Volunteer: Randy Lehnen

After teaching high school for 15 years, Randy was ready for a new challenge! He combined his interests in health care and his aptitude in information technology by pursuing a Practice and Information Management Redesign Specialist certificate program at Normandale Community College. To gain experience in the health care industry, Randy chose to volunteer at Children’s in the Psychological Services clinic on the St. Paul campus. In this volunteer position, Randy has been performing a variety of tasks that have given him valuable insights into the workflow of clinical practice.

 

Volunteer Randy Lehnen with staff supervisor Tanya Johnson

“We have been grateful for all of Randy’s help!  He is always eager and willing to help.  Randy has also aided in filing, organizing, and other tasks that have helped make us efficient.  We appreciate and thank him for his volunteer work with us.”  -Tanya Johnson, Intake Coordinator

 

Family Resource Center Volunteer: Cassie Mathison
Since September 2006, Cassie has volunteered in many ways throughout Children’s, sharing over 850 hours!

Cassie Mathison, Family Resource Center Volunteer

“Cassie has worked with the Family Resource Center for 4 years. She has a spirit that reflects a positive attitude, not just a smile on her face but in the amount of effort and energy she puts forth. Cassie plays a vital role in the Resource Center, performing a wide variety of tasks and always has a willingness to learn more. We depend on Cassie and appreciate all she does to make the Family Resource Center a warm and welcoming environment for the families here at Children’s.” -Kris Fulgham, Family Resource Center staff

Thank you to our wonderful administrative volunteers!  You make a difference here at Children’s!

From Patient to Volunteer: Sasha’s Story

April 22nd, 2013
Sasha Buchner has been volunteering at Children’s since May 2011.  In her own words, here is the story of how she became involved with our program:

 

“Three years ago, I was quickly approaching the end of my senior year in high school.  However, at the same time, I had an growing sense of dread that came to a peak when I developed a lump just over my collarbone.  On May 27th, 2010, 5 days before I graduated, I was diagnosed with Stage 2A Hodgkin’s lymphoma with bulk disease.  The adult oncology clinic that diagnosed me insisted that I start treatment right away–but then my mom got in contact with the Children’s Hem/Onc clinic in Minneapolis. They were willing to work with me so that I could enjoy the end of my senior year before starting treatment. It was such a relief that I didn’t miss anything.

 

One day, while I was receiving chemotherapy on the inpatient floor, I was feeling particularly nauseated.   I hadn’t eaten anything until two volunteers came around to the rooms pulling a wagon full of dirt pudding (Oreos, chocolate pudding, and gummy worms). Needless to say, I ate the delicious treat right away. At this moment, I realized that I wanted to give back to other kids with cancer by helping make their journeys a little bit brighter.

 

The Hem/Onc clinic is a special place within Children’s. Everyone is part of a community, all working towards the same goal of eradicating childhood cancer. I enjoy spending time with the patients and helping them to be kids and teens instead of diagnoses. Every day, I learn so much from them. It is my hope to put this knowledge to use as I pursue a career as a future teen and young adult oncologist. “


Thank you, Sasha, for sharing your amazing courage, compassion, and commitment to Children’s!

Sneak Peek: National Volunteer Recognition Week, April 21-27!

April 19th, 2013

Volunteer Services is looking forward to celebrating with volunteers and staff for next week’s National Volunteer Recognition Week! All over the country, this week is a great opportunity for those impacted by the work of volunteers to say thanks!

Here at Children’s, we have lots of fun photos, volunteer stories, and other surprises planned for the week!

Here’s just a peek at what’s in store:

-Treats for volunteers in our Minneapolis & St. Paul offices
-Open Houses recognizing the staff who support volunteers
(St. Paul Volunteer Services office (L-297), Wednesday, 11 am-1 pm/Minneapolis Volunteer Services office (B-700), Thursday, 11 am- 1 pm)
-Daily blog posts with a variety of volunteer stories
-Television ‘Shout Out’s’ to 2 fantastic Children’s Hospital volunteers on KARE 11! Watch for these highlights Saturday, April 20th during the 8 o’clock hour, and on Monday, April 22nd during the 4 o’clock program! KARE 11 will highlight volunteers across the Twin Cities all week in celebration, we’re excited to be a part of the fun!
We look forward to celebrating with you!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Joel Seleskie

April 19th, 2013

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

Meet Joel!

1.   Why he ROCKS!!

Joel is a working professional who is very family-oriented. He finds time in his busy week to volunteer at Children’s, and always makes an impact when he is here!  Joel says, “I have a buddy, George, who used to volunteer at Children’s—Minneapolis. He was in his 40s, did not have kids of his own, and found this volunteer opportunity to be a great fit. I reached out to Sandy years ago, but the process seemed a bit lengthy/more than I could handle at the time with the schedule not being quite as accommodating for my calendar. Since then, I got married and had two kids. I felt lucky to have healthy young boys, so I contacted Children’s again and they were able to work around my schedule, allowing me to come in after work. I have always liked hanging out with kids, and volunteering at Children’s provides a good way to keep my own life in perspective.”

2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

“I enjoy spending time with family. I married a Regions Labor and Delivery nurse, and have two little boys, ages 1 and 3. One of my favorite experiences was ice skating with my little boy for the 2nd time this winter.”

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

“2 little boys=2 little monkeys.  No pets.”

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

“I would create a bar with 15 grams of protein and a candy coating; I would name it ‘Chunk-O-Energy.’”

5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

“I have lots of them. An interesting story was when I was feeding a 2-year-old ravioli: they ate the whole plate, and I was amazed at how much the little bugger could eat! A memorable experience was when I held a newborn, just a month old. There was not as much interaction, but it was a very peaceful experience.”

 Thank you, Joel, for your great work here at Children’s!