Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt needs you

I have not been blogging since my partner Susan Leathers and I began our new business, www.brentwoodhomepage.com. I have been however writing a weekly column with the same name as my blog. I am going to begin posting my columns here and maybe blog a little on the side. Here is my latest column:
Recently, I sat down with some ladies from Friends of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. I was honored to hear about their organization of volunteers which is providing a multitude of services to the patients and families in all units of Children’s Hospital.
In addition to the Friends who help out at the hospital, they also host annual fundraisers for the hospital such as the “Friends and Fashion” event on March 29. Through outreach at the fundraisers, Julie Casteel, co-president of the Williamson County Chapter of Friends says she hopes that more people will become interested in working with the children and families.
“When the children are in the hospital for extended stays, the parents struggle with having to go back to work,” said Casteel. “They don’t want to leave their children alone and that is where we can help. We can come and sit with their child, play games, read to them or just walk the halls and talk.”
Casteel says another service the volunteers provide is the Friend’s Lunch Bunch. The Lunch Bunch serves over XX meals each week to families with children in one of the units. This service relieves some of the extreme financial pressure of the parents by providing meals for which they would have to pay at a restaurant or in the cafeteria.
“The Friends organization is actively recruiting new volunteers and members, especially in Williamson County,” said Linzi McConnell, co-president of the Williamson County chapter of Friends. “No matter what a person’s volunteer interest, the hospital and Friends can put a new volunteer to work. So many children here in Williamson County are treated at the Children’s Hospital that being a member of Friends is a direct way to give back to our community.”
Membership into Friends is open to anyone who has an interest in aiding patients and families who come to Children’s Hospital. Friends members aid the hospital throughout the year with a variety of activities including providing meals for families in the hospital, coordinating programs and entertainment for the patients and volunteering with various community outreach programs.
“Volunteering for Friends of Children’s Hospital is an eye-opening experience,” said Casteel. “Knowing that no child who needs its services is denied care on the basis of limited ability to pay makes one realize just how important our events and fund raising efforts are.”
If you are interested in hearing more about the Friends of Children’s Hospital, visit Friends under “Giving” at www.vanderbiltchildrens.org or contact Cindy Comperry at 615-322-4863.

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