I am very proud to be the sitting Vice President of this wonderful organization. It is far more than a Charity to me and for me because of the fact that we are involved, hands on and in my opinion, effective in bringing huge smiles to children who suffer the simplest of injuries that might require hospitialization, to the most serious. We interact with the Nurses, ChildLife Specialists, Staff and the kids and their families and I actually get to witness the impact of our donor's gifts, be they monetary or an actual gift. One day I met this amazing young man named Chip Donahue, the founder of Little Smiles who did a presentation at a club I was a member of. I was so intrigued that I couldnt wait to see what I could do to help. That turned into meeting some outstanding Nurses, Child Life Specialists and kids that maybe wouldnt have had such a great day were it not for the generosity of others. I met and got to know the families of these children, witness their struggles and had them share their concerns with me. I got to see true courage in children who through no fault of their own were born with dibiliating illness like Cancer. I have seen the smiles and shared them. I have seen the tears and shed them. But above all else, no matter what the outcomes were, I have seen the smiles and enjoyed them. I would not trade the experiences I have had as a friend of Little Smiles, a member of the Board of Directors and now the VP, for anything. I share my passion with some truly wonderful and giving people who give freely of their time and resources to just make a child smile. The greatest gift of all. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share this and for those of you who took the time to read it, I thank you more because of you and your gracious hearts, I know that we will create more smiles for more children.
It is great to see both a child and a nurse smile.
A few years ago I went to Palms West Hospital for a Nerf Gun Fight. We entered a small room that had beds with little kids all hooked up to machines, someone called it the "Chemo Room." We carried in a couple boxes of big Nerf guns, darts and goggles. The kids too weak to walk sat up in bed and others got to “unplug” and run around. The next thing I knew the room was full of screaming and laughing and the air was full of Nerf Darts! I don’t know who had more fun, me or those kids. I’ve been on the Board of Directors for Little Smiles since that day!
As a Board member, to see the direct impact that this charity has on children, leaves me in tears each and every time. Before serving as a Board member, my son was touched by this organization when he was hospitalized for an extended period.
Before I knew it, several Board members came by to visit him and to make sure his stay was comfortable, brought in some of his favorite foods. They even brought in huge trays of food for all the children staying in the hospital.
But they didn't stop there! As with most children staying in the hospital, they become bored. So an Xbox gaming system with all the trimmings and several games was delivered to him. Talk about putting a smile on a child's face!
In closing, the best charity with the most humble volunteers and Board members to serve with.