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Volunteer Recap: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

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It’s amazing how a small act of kindness can brighten someone’s day. Even something as simple as pouring a cup of coffee.

The Omaze team recently took part in the Industry Service Day at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA). We were invited to do fun activities with patients and pass out coffee to parents and hospital staff.

I was assigned to coffee duty and went up and down the halls of the hospital offering caramel macchiatos, vanilla lattes and granola bars to the incredible parents and staff members we met. After days, weeks, even months of caring for their children in the hospital, these parents were so grateful for a warm cup of coffee, and even the smallest gestures of support. The nurses and doctors also certainly enjoyed taking a quick break from their busy days to refuel with a warm drink or snack.

My favorite encounter was with a young patient who wanted to make sure his mom came back to a cup of coffee after having gone downstairs for a brief moment. When we stepped into his room, I had a happy surprise when I realized it was filled to the brim with “Get Well Soon” balloons. Despite being in the hospital, he had a big smile on his face as we chatted about what movie he was watching in bed and how he was probably “Mr. Popular” on his floor with all the balloons. We asked what he thought his mom might want to drink, and he advised us on which ingredients she would like in her coffee (which ended up being a mix of almost everything we had). His positive and fun-loving attitude was so heartwarming (and hopefully his mom enjoyed our mysterious concoction)!

As we wandered through CHLA, I couldn’t help but feel a surprising sense of comfort. The brightly decorated walls and smiling nurses made this place feel like a welcoming home, far from the sterile hospitals many people expect. It was clear that if a child ever needed medical attention, this was one of the best place to be.

After volunteering at CHLA, I was reminded not to underestimate the effect that small acts of kindness can have on someone’s day—a smile, a meaningful conversation, or even just a cup coffee can truly lift a person’s spirit during a difficult time.

– Emily Reinstein, Partnerships Associate

 

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