How long have you been working with H4H youth?
I have been coming out and speaking for about two years now and working with the different middle schools programs.
What has been your overall impression of H4H youth?
The best part about the youth, and I have been working with young people my whole career, is that they are so positive, so welcoming, so caring, and so professional. Even before I greeted them, they were so welcoming and it was the complete opposite of what you would expect from junior high youth in a positive way. They make direct eye contact, engage in conversation, and are genuinely interested in what I have to say.
How have H4H youth impacted your organization?
The best example I can give was two years ago. In 2017, our hospital had a huge shortage of play-doh. We have hundreds of children that we see everyday and 30,000 patients that visit annually. We have a huge use for play-doh; we use it for physical and occupational therapy, arts and crafts, and in our school room. We were running extremely low and were so thankful to have been chosen by Hands4Hope. They (Marina Middle H4H Club) hosted a huge play-doh drive at their school and when I came to pick it up, I was in awe. My car was packed from floor to ceiling and we have not been short ever since.
In your experience working with different organizations, what stands out about H4H youth?
I have been fortunate enough to work with many organizations and clubs over the years in my professional career. What stands out the most is their professionalism and attentiveness. These students are 12 years old and sit through my 20- 30 minute presentation and are so attentive, ask questions, and are just so great and friendly; that is what makes them so different. Another thing I have noticed is not only how they treat me, but how they treat each other. When the bell rings, they are so nice to each other and genuinely excited to see one another. It’s easy to be respectful of the adult in the room, but they were so respectful of each other and that was awesome to see.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to say thank you. When I see the students and do the presentation, I don’t get to see them after the fact. I want to let them know, if they or their parents or their teachers are reading this, that they are truly making a difference. The work they are doing, whether they see it or not, is so amazing. Hundreds of children are being impacted by their kind gestures. They don’t always have the opportunity to meet the kids they are helping, but on their behalf, thank you, they are so appreciate for what they have done for them. The simplest things bring a huge smile to their faces.