The Portland chapter loved our first return visit to Randall Children’s Hospital. Justine, Aimee, Spencer, Logan, Julia, and Nate joined us as volunteers for the day. All of the volunteers enjoyed our time together to set up the playroom before the children arrived, each of us branching into groups to set up the various stations. Some of our volunteers are super creative and enjoyed making example picture frames for the craft station to show the kids, while the rest of us set up.
We had three tables set up- Queen for a Day/ Hero for a Day coronation and dress up table, a crafts/games table, and a goodie bag/prize table. There was also a photobooth set up along the back wall with two backdrops, a pretty pink princess castle scene and a cool superhero backdrop. There was a basket next to the photobooth with props, including little paper crowns, mustaches, and other silly things.
Overall, we saw 4 girls and 2 boys. When the kids would enter, the first station they would arrive at is the dress up station. The kids would be adorned with beaded necklaces, bracelets, and of course, the sparkly crowns that nobody could take their eyes off of. The kids and parents were all very impressed with the quality of the crowns. One parent said, “Wow I was expecting plastic party crowns, but these are the real deal! These are like actual pageant queen crowns!” The kids absolutely loved feeling so special with their “real” crowns they could take home with them. It was also very popular to be a “Superhero Queen.” We had three girls accessorize their queen crown with a pink velvet super hero cape, to become the ultimate Super Queen of the day. The boys enjoyed the wide variety of superhero capes and masks we had laid out on the table for them to choose from. For one boy, it took him about ten minutes before he finally decided on a Captain America costume. He told his mom, “There’s just too many to choose from!”
Every girl who came in wanted her nails painted and our volunteers were happy to give them their mini-manicures, complete with Jelly-Belly scented nail polish and stickers to place on the nails. We even had a 17 year-old girl come in, who was very excited to receive new Almay eyeshadow pallets in her gift bag after her manicure.
The photo-booth was definitely one of the highlights of the playroom. A volunteer would use our polaroid camera to take photos of the kids against the backdrop of their choice with their dress-up outfits on. The kids would then excitedly wait for their photo to develop. They decorated picture frames, door hangers, and anything else they could come up with at the craft table to glue their photo on to. We had one girl, about 7 years old, who wanted all of the volunteers in her photo with her to remember the special day. We all wore the pink capes to match as requested by her.
We had an intense board game of “Sorry” going on at the crafts table. One young boy had come in a little shy at first, but totally opened up once he found out that one of our volunteers, Hunter, could speak Spanish with him, and then the games commenced in a lively fashion. When his mom told him it was time to leave, he did not want to go he was having so much fun!
At the end of the day, each kid left with a new costume, a gift bag full of goodies they picked out themselves from the prize table, and a photo to remember their special time with us. The energy in the room was full of joy and laughter, a much-needed break from the dull environment of the rest of the hospital. I know that myself and the rest of the volunteers were so thankful for another opportunity to have fun with the kids at Randall Children’s Hospital, and we can’t wait for our next visit! Thank you to Randall Children’s Hospital for the opportunity, and to our sponsors and donors for making this day possible.