Image courtesy of edenpictures
Today was my first day volunteering at a local children's hospital. I decided to volunteer because:
1) I can
2) I am self-employed and have a flexible schedule
3) It's a great way to really get inside and see how a hospital works (A better option than having kidney stones or breaking any limbs)
Personally and professionally, I like to be a voyeur. I love to hear what people think about things, see how they act in different situations and how they interact in others. This is a wonderful opportunity to do just that. The best part, though? The amazing smiles on the kids faces.
My volunteer work includes taking a clown around to the various rooms in the pediatric units and acting as a clown-wrangler - keeping kids safe from him if they are scared and keeping him moving along if they become over engaged. What I saw in my first outing was delightful. There is sickness, pain and frustration in every room, but with the clown comes a ray of hope.
Red noses will never look the same after you see them placed on a sad and sick child. The light on their faces comes from the nose and the clown and the momentary break in people poking and prodding them with needles and all other manner of things. How wonderful that pushing the red nose does not elicit pain but a slight honk, bringing a smile to every face nearby.
Already, I overheard interesting conversations - mostly families who know more about hospitals and how they work and how they compare than any civilian should. But for now, I'd like to rest on the sweet, relaxed and calmed faces of the kids who, for just a moment, get a break in the action thanks to a small, squishy, red foam ball.