Volunteer Spotlight: Providence Community Chapter
Stella Shin was a founding Chapter Leader for Project Sunshine in Los Angeles, recruiting and training volunteers, and leading Creative Arts & Crafts programs with pediatric patients and their families on weekends in LA for years. When she moved across the country, her dedication to the children and families of Project Sunshine continued. In her new home in Rhode Island, Stella founded a new Project Sunshine chapter. Stella and her fellow Chapter Leader, Andrea Tager, started Project Sunshine's newest chapter last month, providing monthly programming at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, RI. This is Project Sunshine's second chapter at Hasbro Children's Hospital; Project Sunshine at Brown University also volunteers there. Both Project Sunshine chapters are possible through a wonderful partnership with Child Life Services at the hospital.
When asked about her experience with Project Sunshine, Andrea speaks about how meaningful it has been "becoming a part of something that affects children in such a positive and powerful way." Stella's experience with Project Sunshine has taught her a lot as well. When speaking about the children and teens she works with, she says, "as I spend more time with them, I am actually getting a lot more in return."
Stella reminisces about her time as a Chapter Leader in Los Angeles and remembers, "I had great experiences with patients as well as their family members. I remember one young boy whose brother was in the hospital. He came to our program a couple of times and made crafts for his brother who couldn't come to the playroom himself due to a serious illness." The boy wanted to create a gift for his brother that would show his care and support during the difficult time. "He was very enthusiastic with crafts and I could just feel his love for his brother while we were together. That just touched my heart."
For their first program, Stella and Andrea worked with Child Life to transform the lounge at Hasbro Children's Hospital with a fun, groovy, 1960's theme where teenaged patients tie–dyed t–shirts and socks, colored their own mandalas, and made their own beaded bracelets. Not only did the kids have a great time, but the parents, caregivers, and staff joined the fun. "This has such an impact on not only my daughter, but me as well," one mother said.
Monthly Project Sunshine programs in Providence, and throughout the country, help foster communication between family members in a difficult situation. Arts and crafts programs, like tie–dye, promote creativity and expression of feelings. Teens and families benefit from this new chapter in Providence, and we thank Chapter Leaders Andrea and Stella, as well as all of the Project Sunshine Providence volunteers, for their dedication to Project Sunshine.
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