Volunteers at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital are a vital resource to the staff and patient’s. They help in classrooms, read bedside to patients, and most importantly provide comfort and companionship. They have their own reason for volunteering. Some have personal connections to the Hospital while others are looking to give back.
Tom Adkins was looking for something in his life that was impactful, meaningful and purposeful. After a conversation with a friend, Tom began volunteering at the Hospital.
“I needed something else in life. I’m bored at work. My kids are grown and I knew there was something else out there. This experience is what I have been looking for. It has greatly humbled me,” said Tom.
Cassie Smith is a nurse coordinator in the Pediatric Medial Rehabilitation Unit (PMRU). When she first met Tom she could tell he was nervous about being a volunteer. “Tom was a little hesitant to interact with the patients in the beginning. I told him how the patients would benefit from a visitor. After a few days he opened up to me, and said he never could have imagined the good that he gets out of being with the kids,” said Smith. “We are very blessed to have Tom at our Hospital and I hope he realizes what a blessing he is to us.”
Tom mostly volunteers in the PMRU spending time with patients and forming friendships. This is a special place for Tom. He witnesses first-hand the progress the patients make and their journey home.
“Seeing the progress no matter how big or small is amazing. The progress is much faster, which is bittersweet. You make friends with the patients. You want them to go home, but hate seeing them leave,” said Tom.
Megan Banner, a student at Oklahoma State University, volunteers at the Hospital answering a call to help those in need. When Megan lost some friends in separate car accidents she was there to help those families when they needed it most. This had a tremendous impact on her life.
“I have a huge passion to help children and families who have been through tough situations. I especially love the PMRU patients. I lost two of my best friends in car accidents. I have a huge heart for being there for families in their time of need,” said Megan.
Megan has made a positive impact on the staff and patients at the Hospital. Her passion for care and attitude make a difference in their lives.
“Megan is a blessing. She entertains our patients for hours and is always bright and cheerful when she is here,” said Micah Puckett, Registered Nurse Case Manager.
Megan has seen the power of faith and healing first-hand while at the Hospital and hopes to become a social worker after she graduates to continue to help others.
“I love seeing the joy between the patients and staff. They genuinely love the patients. The mission statement of this hospital and the fact they are founded on faith is in line with my values as faith plays a huge part in my life. This experience has taught me that I love working with people and getting to know families on an individual level,” said Megan.
To learn more about the Hospital and how to become a volunteer and become part of our story, please click here.