Hoya Paxa

Volunteering at the Georgetown Hospital Pediatric Center

As Community Outreach chair on GSP's student board, I am very proud to report that the GSP [Georgetown Scholars Program] volunteers had an amazing and fulfilling experience at Georgetown University Hospital's pediatric unit during Georgetown University's 25 Days of Service challenge.
On Wednesday, October 19th, GSP and VSA [Vietnamese Student Association] volunteers had just as much fun as the kids in the pediatric ward as we utilized construction and tissue paper, crayons, markers, googly eyes, and scissors to make some very ghoulish Halloween crafts, including small trick or treat goodie bags and witch hats. It was a very lighthearted and fun activity, and we were able to chat and laugh with kids on the unit and to learn more about their lives. What was perhaps the most striking and touching about our visit with the pediatric unit is that despite having serious illnesses and being the recipients of numerous medical treatments, the kids in the unit were just like any other kid: eager to talk about their brothers and sisters, how their day was going, and what plans they had made for Halloween. Furthermore, we were struck by how brave and stoic the kids were; it was evident that despite the almost constant presence of pain in their lives, they were determined to make the best and the brightest out of each day.

GSP was drawn to the 25 Days of Service challenge because we are privileged enough to benefit from the generosity of the program donors, workers, and participants who make GSP possible. As a testament to GSP students' eagerness to volunteer, there were more volunteer offers than open slots due to limited space, and I actually had to turn down several GSP students' offers to volunteer. I believe that because we have been on the receiving end of such generosity from GSP donors, workers, and participants, we are that much more eager to give back to our surrounding community. We look forward to participating in community service initiatives in the future.

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