February marked our first official Volunteering Untapped event and we were thrilled to kick off the program with an organization as wonderful as Kennedy Krieger Institute. KKI provides services and medical care for children with diverse brain-related disorders. It is a world-class institution that treats more than 19,000 children each year. Their doctors, facilities, programs and staff are all elite and it was an honor to be there helping in whatever way we could.
Our volunteering with KKI was fun, rewarding and humbling all at the same time. Our volunteer activity was to hang out and play with the children who are patients at the hospital in their activity room. Sounds pretty fun, right? Well it was! When the children are not working on their therapies, they are allowed to go in the activity room where they can do arts and crafts projects, play board games or video games, watch television and read books and magazines. We had about 15-20 children come in the activity room over the three hours we were there, with 12 or so at most at a single time.
Kennedy Krieger tries to have the children do activities that focus on improving their disability and since they are doing something fun, they don’t even realize that they are doing their therapies. For example, a child with a speech disability will play a game where you have to speak back the answers or one who needs to work on their fine motor skills will play a board game and improve through moving pieces around on the board. It was an outstanding event for everyone involved and a truly memorable and impactful experience for our volunteers.
To learn more about Kennedy Krieger Institute go here: www.kennedykrieger.org and if you would like to volunteer with them, contact KKI’s Director of Guest Relations & Volunteer Services, Jaime Ball Kurman: firstname.lastname@example.org.