Volunteer Spotlight: Kelly Lundy
Kelly Lundy has been a Project Sunshine Chapter Leader at NYU Langone Medical Center for over four years. But her path to Chapter Leader was not always a clear one. "One year into this journey, I faced a major hurdle," Kelly says about an experience she had a year into her Project Sunshine volunteer commitment. "I left the program in tears thinking about how sad I felt for the children in the hospital who were sick. I felt hopeless, knowing these children were suffering and the world outside the hospital doors had no idea." However, Kelly did not give up. "Like I always did when I was upset, I called my best friend – my dad, to lift my spirits."
"Without hesitation my dad gave me some great words of wisdom. He said, Kelly, these kids impacted you... think about how you've impacted them. They are counting on you and they look to you to be strong and help them be strong. If you're not going to be strong for them, who will be? These kids need you! Be strong and be proud that you're making a huge difference in the lives of these children, because you are!"
Kelly was hit hard by this conversation. "It made me realize just how special Project Sunshine really is. It made me reflect back and think: when these children have the weight of the world on their shoulders, often at such a young age, it is our strength that they need to lighten that load. Looking back on this moment, I wonder how I ever even questioned giving up. I now have the children to thank, for giving me strength when I need it most!"
Now more than four years have passed and Kelly and her volunteers have become regular visitors to the pediatric playroom at Tisch Hospital at NYU Langone. They work closely with the Child Life Specialists and Creative Art Therapists to bring nutritious and fun Sunshine Chefs programs to the children, and relaxing Caregiver Wellness activities to the parents. Through the consistent support of the Child Life and Creative Art Therapies team, Kelly and her volunteers help to relieve the stress and anxiety of the hospital experience for these children and their families.
Kelly describes her journey with Project Sunshine with profound emotion. "It has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I've learned a lot over the course of this journey." She also hopes that her story will inspire her fellow volunteers to "take pride in this amazing organization."
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