Volunteer Facilitator for "3-5s" since 2019
I first found out about Erin's House through medical school. The older med students frequently talked about how fulfilling their experience at Erin's House had been, and I have always enjoyed working with kids, so I jumped at the chance to get involved!
My future career will assuredly involve helping people through very difficult losses, so I also saw this as a great opportunity to learn how different people at different stages process grief and to develop skills to be a more compassionate physician in these circumstances.
Sometimes, it can be really challenging to know how to respond when a child really opens up. Although I like to think that I understand what they are going through, I know that these experiences are different for everyone. I always worry about sounding disingenuous by saying something that seems rehearsed or impersonal. I have found that sometimes the best option is to invite the silence and simply be present for that person.
The biggest lesson I have learned from Erin's House is that no two children express grief in the same way. The most important thing that you can do as someone supporting them is to meet that child wherever they are and create an environment that allows them to openly express their thoughts.
I love everything about Erin’s House! But, if I had to narrow it down to just one thing, it would definitely be the people. It is a blessing and privilege to have the opportunity to work with these kids who are going through such a difficult time. It has also been so wonderful getting to meet and work with the other volunteer facilitators and, of course, the Erin's House staff!
3️⃣ Three words to describe myself: Caring, methodical, teammate
💜 Favorite Healing Heart activity: Turkey Puppets - It is always fun to do arts and crafts with our kids, but it’s especially fun helping them put together a turkey with some of their favorite things and memories written on the feathers. The 3- to 5-year-olds can come up with some pretty creative answers!
⛰️ Dream vacation: I would love to take a vacation through all the major national parks in the western United States. I really enjoy everything outdoors, so hiking the greatest landscapes in our country would be incredible.