I have volunteered with children going through chemotherapy for 10 years, five with Chelsea’s Closet. My interest in volunteering formed when I was a child… after watching my father fight cancer and experience the painful process of chemotherapy. Since then, I wanted to give back to families going through what my family went through.
Initially, I wanted to make an impact, a difference in kids’ lives. What I quickly learned is, although I believe I have made a difference, it is me that has been profoundly impacted. The kids are the ones that have opened my eyes. They have helped me appreciate the value of life, health and of seeing the positive in dark situations. It always amazes me to see how strong and courageous children can be. I have often witnessed the sick child comforting the parent in tough times.
I don’t really talk much about my volunteer work, but when it does come up people are always impressed when I tell them about Chelsea’s Closet. I tell them how we provide new costumes to sick children while they are in the hospital… costumes the kids get to keep and use for playtime whenever they’re able. What surprises me is how quickly most people say they could never do what I do because of how hard it must be to see the child going through treatment. Sure it’s tough at times, but the gratification you feel when you see the pure joy in their eyes, or the little squeal of excitement, makes it all worthwhile. And for that little bit of time, with tubes and needles in their arms, you have helped the child forget the cancer and just be a kid.
Volunteering with Chelsea’s Closet is only a couple hours a month. A couple hours that might honestly change your life. Why not make a change and become a volunteer? Whether you’re interested in sorting costumes at the CHF warehouse, working at the annual Masquerade Ball or helping kids pick out the perfect costume at the hospital, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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