Since the beginning of November, people have been participating in the daily “I am thankful for” Facebook, Twitter, and other social media posts. Each day, I look forward to seeing the various things people decide to give thanks for that day, from things like family and friends to Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, this blog post is dedicated to something I’m extremely thankful for: my internship in the Office of Philanthropy & Partnership.
I began interning with GHS this fall semester as I’m finishing up my senior year at Clemson University. As a marketing major, most of my work focuses on tasks of that nature; however, given my love of special events and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, I’ve had the privilege of becoming involved with the Children’s Hospital.
One of my first tasks was to attend a Fall Festival at the Children’s Hospital to take pictures of the kids during the event. From the minute I walked into the hospital playroom, my heart overflowed with joy. From corn-hole and putt-putt to photo booths and pumpkin decorating, the Fall Festival for these children couldn’t have been more of a playground for kids. As I watched the children’s eyes light up and their smiles beaming while they moved from activity to activity, I realized I was gaining much more than professional experience from my internship position. I was witnessing firsthand how impactful the smallest gifts can be. In being able to interact with the children and their families, I came to truly understand and appreciate the fun, loving, family atmosphere the hospital provides for its patients. The dots were being connected – I was standing in the midst of the reason the Office of Philanthropy and Partnership does what it does.
While the entire day was incredibly rewarding, my favorite moment came when I was specifically requested to make a trip down to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). A family staying there with their daughter wanted some pictures of their baby girl for Halloween but they couldn’t bring her up to the playroom. When I walked into the room I had no idea that the orange boa, sunglasses, and pumpkin mask I brought along as props would be such a hit. The happiness that filled the room as we had our little photo shoot was almost as priceless as the pictures we ended up with afterwards. See for yourself, it doesn’t get much better than this:
When I left the hospital that day, I was already anticipating my next visit and when I’d be able to come back. I couldn’t wait for my next encounter with the amazing children and their families I met that day. I couldn’t wait to watch the staff working in the hospital dote over the children you could so easily see their love for. I couldn’t wait to see what the Office of Philanthropy and Partnership will bring to the Children’s Hospital next.