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Volunteer Spotlight: China

Project Sunshine China volunteers are students from China Women´s University who bring special programming to medical centers throughout Beijing. As Project Sunshine volunteers, these students are able to bring joy and a sense of normalcy to children receiving medical treatments. Each hospital benefits from Project Sunshine programming in different ways.

Peking University Sixth Hospital serves patients facing mental health challenges. The children and teens in this facility are in isolated, in-patient departments where the shortest stay could be as long as a month. Project Sunshine´s weekly Creative Arts & Crafts and Sunshine Chefs programming has become the highlight of the children´s stay. Additionally, the much-anticipated, annual trip to the Beijing Aquarium is one of the staple programs that the Project Sunshine volunteers organize at Sixth Hospital.

Qirui Children´s Rehabilitation Center and Morning Glory Treatment Center for Children are two cerebral palsy rehabilitation centers located on the outskirts of Beijing. Because of their distant location, few volunteer organizations provide consistent service there. Our Project Sunshine China volunteers are the exception; they visit every week to do fun Creative Arts & Crafts activities with the children.

"I am so appreciative to the Project Sunshine volunteers for their persistence and excellence!" says Director Ma of Morning Glory Rehab Center, "At first I thought they will just come and go, like the other volunteers, and I do not blame them as we are almost two hours away from the city. But they keep on coming back—bringing a variety of activities to our kids. Now every Tuesday afternoon, the kids come to the doorway and ask ´Where are the sunshine sisters?´"

Project Sunshine volunteers are also bringing lots of sunshine to the pediatric cardiology patients who are in their post-op phase at Beijing Anzhen Hospital. Hospital policy does not allow parents and family to visit the children for a two week period after their operation due to concerns of overcrowding and exposure to infection. The Project Sunshine volunteers are allowed to visit with the children, since they are a small group. It is up to them to provide the entertainment and fun both inside and out of the isolation area. Volunteers do Creative Arts & Crafts projects with the children in isolation, as well as outside the isolation area with the anxious parents. The crafts the parents make are then brought to the children by the volunteers.

One mother who made a painting for the volunteers to bring to her child said, "I don't know what I can do to help while waiting here all day, but now I know she has games and crafts to enjoy inside, and it makes me feel better. Thank you!"

Project Sunshine´s programs have transformed the neurology pediatric inpatient department of Peking University Women and Children´s Hospital into a fun environment for all the pediatric patients and their families! Volunteers bring festive decorations, Creative Arts & Crafts, colorful balloon animals, and Bugs Bunny to the hospital. More than 30 children and families joined the party. Project Sunshine's weekly programming has become a highly anticipated regular event within the department.

Beijing Xiehe Hospital is one of the most prestigious medical facilities in China, but similar to the other big hospitals, it´s flooded with patients from all over the country, and medical treatment is its one and only focus. Project Sunshine´s programs in the pediatric department are an effort to integrate play and arts into the clinical environment. Starting this year on International Children´s Day, Project Sunshine volunteers bring weekly arts, games, and reading programs to both the inpatient and outpatient pediatrics.

Thanks to all the dedicated volunteers of Project Sunshine China who bring joy and fun to hospitals throughout Beijing!

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

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