Volunteer Spotlight: Houston Community Chapter
Project Sunshine's Houston Chapter Leaders, Jamelia and Bridget, utilize their creativity, experience, and knowledge to bring fun, creative arts and crafts projects to their programs at MD Anderson Children's Cancer Center. In March, Bridget and Jamelia showed their Texas pride with a rodeo event. The children were invited to participate in themed arts and crafts by making their own cowboy hats and masks, painting rodeo pictures, and building their own miniature western barn.
Former college volunteer, Bridget, has volunteered with Project Sunshine since her freshman year in college. When asked about Project Sunshine, she says "I love Project Sunshine because I enjoy helping the children and their families escape the hospital world. Not only are our events an escape for the children but also for the volunteers who can take a break from the working world to live in the moment and focus on ensuring the children are enjoying the crafts – they can also participate in the crafts as well!" Her fellow Chapter Leader, Jamelia, explains that, "I love Project Sunshine because it not only gives me a chance to get involved and have fun with kids going through a tough time, but it also gives me a chance to unwind. Many of the crafts we do are pretty exciting and it allows me to be a big kid as well." A common theme among Project Sunshine volunteers who dedicate their free time to making a difference in the children's and family's lives is finding that it has a meaningful effect on their own lives as well.
Special moments like these create unforgettable memories in the Houston chapter's monthly programs for kids and caregivers alike. Bridget and Jamelia say that when they see their volunteers connect and engage with the children, it reminds them how important these programs are. At times, volunteers may face language barriers; however, this does not stop them from connecting with the children. Bridget adds that, "several children do not speak English, but our members do a great job relating to them and ensuring they enjoyed the crafts. The children's expressions when they saw their completed cowboy and cowgirl hats were priceless!"
Bridget and Jamelia not only recruit and train wonderful volunteers, but also contribute their time, positive attitude, and spread their knowledge of Project Sunshine. We are thankful to have dedicated leaders helping spread sunshine in Houston.