The Joy of Volunteering for Cincinnati Walks for Kids
Barbara Belle, BA, Med, has worked at Cincinnati Children’s for six years. She currently serves as an education consultant in the Education and Learning Department and is a veteran volunteer for Cincinnati Walks for Kids.
I started working at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2006, which happened to be the first year for Cincinnati Walks for Kids. Our department was sponsoring a walk team and, while checking out the walk web site, the volunteer section caught my eye. I signed up to work in the Volunteer Tent.
The first year of the Walk took place on a cold November morning. My job was to register the volunteers, hand out t-shirts, maps, lunch tickets and coupons, provide directions to volunteer locations and so much more. In addition to working at the Volunteer Tent over the last several years, I’ve also cheered walkers at the finish line, and served pizza to thousands of hungry walkers.
I remember telling my sister, who lives in northern Ohio, about my morning at the walk and why it was such a meaningful experience for me. She told me she would love to help out at the Walk the following year. She did and has been volunteering for the past four years. A good friend of ours has also joined us. We work hard and always have fun at the walk, as you can see by the pictures.
During the six years that I’ve volunteered at the Walk, I’ve met so many wonderful Cincinnati Children’s employees as well as former patients and families. Meeting these people and hearing their stories has inspired me. It is through these interactions that I’ve learned just how much Cincinnati Children’s touches the lives of our patients, their families and friends. Volunteering has truly been a heartwarming, emotional experience. It’s just a few hours of my time for such a worthwhile cause.
This year, think about getting your department together to walk as a team, sponsor walkers, or volunteer. I’ll be there to run the Volunteer Tent again with my sister and good friend, and hope to see you at Coney Island on Saturday, Oct. 20! You can join us as a volunteer by signing up online.