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Volunteer Spotlight: Project Sunshine Austin

Project Sunshine - UnitedHealth Group Minnesota

"Inspiring" and "dedicated" are some of the ways that Chapter Leader Christine Dao describes her group of Project Sunshine volunteers in Austin, Texas. She is excited to talk about their dedication to volunteering, and to the children they work with at Dell Children�s Medical Center, but it was Christine that made it happen. Christine, who already had experience volunteering at Texas Children�s Hospital in Houston, founded Project Sunshine Austin in 2012. She was looking for a volunteer opportunity where she could continue to make a difference in the community. Less than two years later, the chapter now continues to work closely with the Child Life Department at Dell Children´s Medical Center to bring monthly creative arts and crafts programming to children and family members, and has a committed and enthusiastic group of regular volunteers.

"Our Austin Chapter is a great group of dedicated individuals who volunteer their time to provide support for children facing medical challenges and their families," Christine says. "When we come in we want to create a fun environment where patients and their families can just forget where they are and enjoy themselves. Seeing the kids just ´be kids´ shows me that our group is really making a difference in restoring a sense of normalcy in their lives."

In addition to their hospital arts and crafts programming, Project Sunshine Austin decided they wanted to do something special this past holiday season and worked with Project Sunshine�s NYC office to organize a holiday toy drive, donating new toys and gifts to children at hospitals in NYC and nationwide, extending their service far beyond the Austin community.

"As Chapter Leader, it´s extremely rewarding to be able to work with so many inspiring volunteers to bring comfort to children and their families during such a difficult time. Project Sunshine makes this possible by helping people like myself help others." � Christine Dao, Chapter Leader

More Volunteer Stories of Interest

Sports Illustrated model, Damaris Lewis, volunteered for her second year as a Project Sunshine Dance Camp instructor to empower young women through dance.
Emilio Delgado, who has played Luis on Sesame Street for 40 years, brought sunshine to pediatric patients at Mount Sinai´s KidZone as part of Project Sunshine´s Book Club