Veteran Volunteer of 20 Years Gives Back to His Community


Hear from Edwin Icban, a Project Sunshine Community Volunteer, about his two decades of service and giving, receiving, and finding joy.


I realized that I had more than enough. My health, my job, a home. And I needed to give back to the community. 

Since 2003, I have been volunteering in at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco and Oakland, and at Family House San Francisco. Over those years, I’ve received more than what I’ve given. These kids and families are so resilient, but they want a break from the white coats and they want to make connection. 

And that’s what we’re here for. With other members of “Team Yellow,” we bring our arts and craft supplies to the facilities, ready for play. But sometimes we might just listen to music together or play Connect 4. One time a kid wanted to paint my nails, so that’s what we did as I listened to her story. Similarly, we also get to serve caregivers who give their all for their children. I’ll never forget when one parent desperately asked for just five minutes so that they could shower. Instead, we gave her two hours. 


Giving our time to the community matters. Through Project Sunshine’s programs, the time we give bring moments of distraction, respite, and joy to children and families in need. But like I said, this is something that I need for myself.