Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Value of Volunteering

My little girl has taught me many lessons and I actually find she is still teaching me things now even two years later.  One thing that I didn't expect our daughter to teach me is that I love to volunteer. 

It started first with simply donating to the hospital and starting Ella's Halo.  I enjoy working on Ella's Halo, marketing our nonprofit, meeting contacts within the NICUs, and knowing that putting together blankets and books are going to help families.  I love putting all of my extra time, my heart and soul into Ella's Halo because I know we are doing something that matters.  Our first hand experience of the NICU helped us to realize that sometimes it is often the smallest things that mean the most.  Receiving a cute little blanket to wrap your baby in for the first time while in the hospital seems like a small little detail but it can help bring a smile to a  parent's face.  And to me that is no little detail.  I love that our little nonprofit can help other nonprofits like serving dinner at the Ronald McDonald House.  Any way that Ella's Halo can give back and help families is inspiring to me.

I realized I need to give even more than just simply Ella's Halo.  We went to Faith's Lodge and had a wonderful experience there.  I felt that I needed to help give back to this wonderful cause as well and joined their Family Outreach Committee.   This group of parents work to help spread the word about Faith's Lodge.  We also put together a Holiday Tribute event, give new ideas about how we can help families attend Faith's Lodge and help spread awareness about this organization.   I knew that I loved to help and be part of this nonprofit as well.

I also wanted to reach out even more and being more active in the hospital communities we were helping through Ella's Halo.  I became a member of the Parent Advisory Board for Amplatz Children's Hospital and love that I get to help a wide range of families in the hospital with their children and not just the NICUs only.  However, I did become a member of the Parent to Parent group in the Amplatz NICU.  Volunteering at open houses for the new hospital, helping with pizza parties at the NICU for families, or just simply giving feedback about how to make things easier for kids and parents are just a few of the things that I now love to be a part of.

Make a Wish is another organization that I wanted to be a part of.  I want to see kids with smiles and have happy moments when faced with scary and uncertain medical conditions.  I am taking part in a training session this June to become a wish granter volunteer and excited to see the big smiles on the faces of kids.  I am excited for yet another opportunity to give back and help kids and families.

Through volunteering at hospital functions, severing dinner at the Ronald McDonald House for Ella's Halo or becoming a wish granter for Make a Wish, I have finally found something I am passionate about and can do alongside another passion of mine Ella's Halo!  Volunteering is something I didn't know was missing from my life until I started becoming active in helping others.

Amazing how a one pound baby can teach us so much about life, learning and love.  Thank you Ella for teaching me that there is more of me to give.


Tracy said...

Yay! I can't wait for you to become a Wish Granter so we can start doing wishes together!! :)

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