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!

 

Buds in Scrubs: Tim Schroeder

April 12th, 2013

 

Children’s Volunteer Services presents:

Buds in Scrubs!

1.   Meet Tim:

Tim is Children’s Finance Projects Manager, and is based in Roseville. He started with Children’s in June 2004 as a Financial Analyst. He is a strong leader and wonderful Volunteer Services partner (who wears some of the coolest ties)!

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of work?

         “Supporting and cheering for my daughters’ activities. Also, volunteer activities with the Richfield Public Schools Foundation, Richfield Public Schools Music Boosters, and our church.”

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

 “I’ve been married to Darla for almost 24 years; our anniversary is in less than 2 weeks! We have two daughters, Sarah (17) and Katie (15); both go to Richfield High School. Sarah volunteers on the Children’s-Minneapolis campus on Saturdays, and is deciding on colleges for next year.

 We only have two pets now; Sadie is a springer/lab/chow mix, and Trooper is our cat. In the past, we also had gerbils and guinea pigs.”

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

“I enjoy reading about mountain climbing and dog sledding, though my current books are more career-related (predictive analytics and lean healthcare). My all-time favorite movie is “The Ten Commandments.”

 5.   Who was your hero as a kid?

“When I was a child, my hero was my mother:  as a single parent, she sacrificed a lot to assure that my brothers, sisters and I could get the most out of our lives. She told us, though not verbatim, what I share with my daughters: 1) have a great day, 2) do your best, 3) have fun, 4) be respectful of others, and most importantly, 5) she loved us and was very proud of us.”

 6.   Who is your hero now?

    “Today, my mother is still my hero, but I have also added others who give of themselves and commit their lives to making our tomorrows better than today – such as our volunteers.”

 7.   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 include honey, dried cherries, crushed cashews molded together in dark chocolate and be called ‘Done Best.’”

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

    “The ability to work with my colleagues to become more efficient stewards of our available resources so that we fulfill our mission to the patients, families and communities that we serve.”

 9.   Share a work experience involving volunteers:

    “Currently, five volunteers regularly assist the finance team with several of our databases and programs.  I greatly appreciate their enthusiasm and commitment to help.  They have all suggested ideas that we have implemented to make things easier.”

 

 

 

 

Courage Center’s EMPOWER Scholarships Now Accepting Applications!

April 10th, 2013

The Courage Center is currently accepting applications for its EMPOWER Scholarships!

EMPOWER Scholarships are open to ethnically diverse students attending an institution of higher learning. Selection is based on the applicant’s intentions, achievements, volunteerism and need. The application deadline is May 15th, 2013.

Interested in applying? Check out further requirements, learn more about the EMPOWER Scholarship program, and review the application process by visiting this site.

Red-Vested Rockstar: Janene Koutek

April 5th, 2013

Janene and The Dude, delivering cool prizes!

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

 Meet Janene!

1.   Why she ROCKS!!

“My brother, Joseph, used to be a patient at Children’s, and I always thought that it would be cool to come and hang out with the kids at the hospital… so here I am! I finally made the decision to become a volunteer. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.” We agree! Janene has been an awesome addition to our Star Studio volunteer team. She brings fun, laughter, and plenty of smiles to each and every shift.

As for the future: “Right now, I am in the process of completing my Masters Degree in Child and Adolescent Development. I hope to someday become a Child Life Specialist.”

  2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

“I love to sing! In January, I won a trip to Hawaii and auditioned to sing “God Bless America” at Target Field for a Twins game. I also love reading, dancing, and scrapbooking.”

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

 “No kids, but I do have a cat. Her name is Tighty Whitey. She’s white with blue eyes and is super shy.”

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

“This is a loaded question…um… I think it would have to be something with toffee, chocolate, and peanut butter. But then there’s nougat and caramel, too. UGH! Okay, for real, peanut butter, strawberries, and chocolate. Kinda like a chocolate-covered PB & J. Yup, that’s it. I’d name it LaLa’s Lucious Lunchwich.”

  5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

“I feel privileged to be able to work with the AWESOME staff at the Star Studio, especially The Dude. But I really love the fact that I get to visit so many kids while I’m at the hospital. I love being able to go into the rooms and share with them what’s going to be on the show. I think it’s super cool when new patients call in! It’s a fantastic feeling to get the kids excited to watch the show, whether it’s their first time or their 100th time.”

Thank you, Janene, for being such an awesome volunteer!

Guest Blogger: Kelly Jordan, Emergency Department Volunteer

March 27th, 2013

Mindy Teele, ED child life specialist, and Kelly Jordan

Kelly Jordan is a current volunteer in the Children’s-Minneapolis emergency department who, after reading other volunteers’ blog profiles, decided to submit one of her own!  (Thanks, Kelly!)   Read on to learn more about her volunteer experience thus far…

“Toward the end of 2012, I heard that Children’s Hospital was accepting volunteer applicants—and I couldn’t apply fast enough! I remember it was during the holiday season, and I really wanted to do something that would let me give back to the community. I knew that I wanted to volunteer somewhere special where I got to work with children, which made Children’s Hospital the perfect fit for me!

After fulfilling the necessary requirements and completing an interview process, I was raring to get started, to say the least! The ball really started rolling after I attended the on-site orientation session, which was really cool. It gave me the opportunity to learn about Children’s Hospital and what makes it a special place, and let me connect me with other volunteers, who happened to be a lot like me!

After orientation, it was on to the Emergency Department, where I was teamed up with my trainer, Candace [Tacandrya Evans of Patient Registration].  She’s really an awesome person to work with! She works as a patient registration trainer and taught me all about the Emergency Department. Not only has she been with Children’s Hospital for a while, but she has a strong understanding of everything that happens and where everything is.

Currently, I volunteer primarily in the Emergency Department. It’s fast-paced, fun, and presents me with many unique challenges. Between taking Truth Point surveys, making sure patients have toys, and keeping siblings entertained, my time at the hospital flies by quickly! I usually hang out with Mindy [Teele], a Child Life Specialist in the ED. She is a ball of fun. She moves quick and always has a project for me to do. Her positive attitude is contagious (ha! I couldn’t resist!). From things to do during down time to tricks of the trade when approaching families to knowing where things are located — the stuff you’ll need to know when helping families — her insights are so valuable. The Emergency Department, like many traditional patient floors, has a lot of moving parts and people. I get to interact with doctors, nurses, therapists and technicians. Everybody has their own responsibility to ensure that everything runs smoothly — the department really is a well-oiled machine! And, even though everyone is focused on the task at hand, they’re all very friendly and will always greet you with a warm, inviting smile.

I wanted to become a volunteer because I wanted to give back to the community, and I couldn’t be happier with my experience at Children’s Hospital. I look forward to each day I get to walk into the volunteer office, and truly love what I do here. The one piece of advice I would give future volunteers is to give as much as you can, meet people, ask questions and interact. Greet everyone with a smile, and go the extra mile every chance you can. This opportunity has been a blessing — I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

 Cheers, everyone!”

Thank you, Kelly, for your contagious good cheer!  We are lucky to have you!

Red-Vested Rockstar: Sean Creegan

March 21st, 2013

 

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

Meet Sean!

1.   Why he ROCKS?

“Being in a medical environment is a large switch for me. I worked all through college and after as a carpenter, welder, and painter for the theatre. The work took me all over the United States, and I got to work with a wide variety of talented people on musicals, plays, dance shows, and other performance pieces. Some of my best memories involve working all-nighters with my team to get the show ready to open that evening.

 I recently began to explore medicine as another career choice. As an artist, I have always found anatomy and physiology fascinating. Having worked with my hands all my life, getting to apply this science to a craft like medicine is very exciting to me.

I began volunteering at Children’s to explore this interest more, as well as to spend time with patients. Coming from a family of six children, I feel right at home playing board games and doing art with the kids in the hematology/oncology clinic. The kids that I get to spend time with are so bright, funny, creative, and brave; it’s really a highlight of my week!”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

   “Kung fu! No, seriously, I do kung fu. It’s a great workout, and good for building focus.”

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

 “I do not, but I would love to get a nice big dog! I’ve decided that his name will be Duke.”

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

 “There used to be a candy bar called “Seven Up,” not to be confused with the sugary drink. It got its name because it had seven sections, and each one was filled with a different flavor, such as caramel, nougat, and mint. I would build off of that idea, add a few new flavors, and call it “The Big Ten,” a nod to the University and my alma mater. I would keep the original flavors and add a few of my own, including bacon, cinnamon roll, and jalapeño.”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

       “I recently played Super Mario Bros. on the Wii with a young patient in the clinic. He had never played the game before, so I gladly showed him the ropes. Mario had been a favorite game of mine when I was his age, so it was very exciting to teach him how to play and see him enjoy it. When he was leaving, he snuck up and hugged me. It was a very touching moment.”

 Thank you, Sean,  for being such a rockstar! Your passion, hard work and positive energy are appreciated!

 

Data Entry Volunteer Opportunities

March 21st, 2013

Are you competent in Microsoft Excel and in need of extra volunteer hours?
Are you looking to build your resume?

If you answered yes to the questions above… we may have an opportunity for you!

Certain MD’s at Children’s are looking for data entry help with research projects.

For more information, contact Volunteer Services Minneapolis: (612) 813-6200 St. Paul: (651) 220-6141

Red-Vested Rockstar: Jory Herman

March 8th, 2013

 

Jory in his peri-op attire!

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

Meet Jory!

1.   Why he ROCKS!!

 “I was a patient when I was 6 years old, remembering nothing more than being in the hospital. Two decades later, I happened to be driving by (Children’s), stopped in and found the Volunteer Services office. At the time, it was a small closet with two desks:  one was Sandy B’s. I asked what volunteers do, and they immediately assigned me to Saturday morning tours. That was 20 years ago. Before a Children’s Hospital website, families would come in at 9 am on Saturdays to take a walking tour of the hospital. We would get 40-100 people every Saturday. Years went by; I switched to Monday nights, then to Wednesday mornings, and now every Tuesday morning as a Family Escort in Par 2, the 2nd floor surgery center & operating rooms. I love it, they love me, and I plan on staying for another 20 years!

 When not at Children’s, I own my own company, handed down 3 generations, and live downtown in a warehouse loft. I have traveled around the world so much that hanging in my office is a world map with pins in all the places I have been. It’s not full yet, but someday I will fill that map up!”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?

 “Enjoying time with friends, eating at great restaurants, enjoying movies and shows. During the summertime, I love biking and walking the lakes.”

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

 “No pets, but used to have an amazing huge saltwater fish tank in my old house.”

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

“Hard question, but I would say something mango-flavored……Tango Mango!”

 5.   Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:

 “It would have to be the “Thank You” that I get from the OR staff, and the comments about how wonderful it is to have volunteers helping them.”

Thank you for your 20 years of volunteer service, Jory! Your enthusiasm, work ethic, and smile continues to impress us!

2012 Annual Report

March 5th, 2013

Have you ever wondered how many books volunteers checked out to patients last year?
 How about the total numbers of volunteers that Children’s had in 2012?

Find the answers to these questions and other cool stats by checking out our 2012 Annual Report!

Read fun volunteer bios, find out the monetary value of our annual volunteer hours, and much more…

Visit our website: childrensMN.org/volunteer, scroll down to the bottom right, and click on Annual Report.

Buds in Scrubs: The Dude

February 28th, 2013

Children’s Volunteer Services presents:

Buds in Scrubs!

1.   Meet The Dude:

“Name’s The Dude. I work in Family Services and am the lead Host of Star Studio’s live TV shows. I’ve been here since…actually, I don’t know; I’m not awesome with numbers. 5 years, maybe?  Whoa!”

 2.   Favorite thing to do outside of work?

“Playing video games, reading about cool things in history, playing with my little sister, pulling off never-performed skateboard tricks, practicing guitar, perfecting mac-n-cheese recipes, listening to all kinds of music, playing wicked beats on my drum set, napping, and board games…”

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

“Having a 7-year-old little sister is like having a kid AND a pet at the same time…”

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

“My favorite movie is ‘The Little Mermaid.’  It has comedy, action, romance, great characters and music!  My favorite book is the one based on the movie ‘The Little Mermaid.’”

 5.   Who was your hero as a kid?

“My mom.”

 6.   Who is your hero now?

“See Question #5;  heehee!”

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

“It would have chocolate, honey-roasted peanuts, vanilla wafers, and bacon.  I would call it the ‘What Up? Bar.’”

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

“Everything.  Especially making people laugh, making friends, and when doctors walk down the hall, see me, and say “‘Dude!’”

 9.   Share a work experience involving volunteers:

“This one time, a volunteer named Alisha co-hosted Bingo with me, and she was so awesome. I can’t wait to have her back!”

Thanks for the high-fives, ‘wassup’s,” and being an all-around cool Dude!