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Volunteer Week: Championing Children By Giving Back

April 16, 2018

Arkansas Children's is excited to celebrate National Volunteer Week – April 15-21. This annual celebration allows us to pause and say thank you to our amazing volunteers for the difference they make every day for our patients and families. Volunteers help champion children in a variety of ways – playing with patients in our activity rooms, rocking a baby, helping in the gift shop, collecting new toys and items to donate, helping raise money for Arkansas Children’s and even knitting hats. We are truly grateful for the commitment and dedication of these special team members.
 

We asked Marilyn Ewing, one of our dedicated volunteers, to share her motivation for giving back to Arkansas Children’s through her time and energy. Here’s what she shared:

Each Wednesday, I volunteer in the teen room at Arkansas Children's Hospital, and each week is a bittersweet moment for me as soon as I walk through the front door of the hospital.  The smells, the sounds, the people, are all reminders of the more than 18 years our family has spent at this hospital with our son, Spencer, as a patient. 


In 1999, Spencer was diagnosed with a brain stem tumor that affected both his neurological function as well as his spinal cord function. Through the years, I have seen firsthand the impact that the doctors, nurses, therapists, and even the janitorial crew have made on Spencer and our family. I volunteer because Spencer is a junior at Ouachita Baptist University and without our Heavenly Father and ACH, I know that he would not have been able to achieve this tremendous goal.​  
 

As I visit the units to check the needs of the patients, I am reminded of when I was the mom and Spencer was the patient. I remember the knock on the door and the anticipation on our faces as we waited to see who was visiting and what their visit would bring. I remember that feeling so vividly.

Now, when I knock on a patient's door to see if they would like to visit the teen room or to see if I can bring them a game, I make certain that my face does not give away the pain I feel for them as I witness their sickness, their anguish and sometimes their anger at their situation. My number one goal as a volunteer is to bring a smile to their face as well as their parents or guardian.
 

Volunteering fills a void that I didn't even know I had. The joy I see on the faces of the patients is a constant reminder of what a remarkable facility Arkansas Children's Hospital is to our community and to our state.
 

If you are interested in helping us champion children through volunteering, please contact a member of our Volunteer Engagement team at 501-364-1825 or visit http://www.archildrens.org/volunteer. 

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