For Lorainne, a smile on a little face is the best reward of all
Lorainne does a wonderful job making a difference in the lives of families with seriously ill children. She also finds it hugely rewarding.
“Through friends and family I’ve seen the difference a visit to the Starlight Express Room can make to a child in a hospital,” says Lorainne. “I love the program.”
Lorainne always wanted to volunteer with kids in hospital, but thought working full time might make it difficult. Thankfully, this hasn’t been the case and she schedules her fortnightly shifts in the Starlight Express Room around her work.
“The Starlight Express Room is a place for fun. It’s liberating for kids and their families to focus on anything but hospital life. It enables them to make happy memories as if they were hanging out together at home,” says Lorainne. “We never ask the kids about their illness or medical procedures.”
Lorainne feels that volunteering at Starlight gives her days more meaning.
“I always leave my shift glad I was able to create some happy memories for a family,” says Lorainne. “It also reminds me to count the blessings in my own life.”
One of Lorainne’s favourite parts of the role is introducing a new family to the Starlight Express Room.
“You can see the relief on the parent’s face as their child starts to smile,” says Lorainne. “I’ve had parents tearfully thank me as their child skips out of the room with a balloon animal, a photo with Captain Starlight or a picture they just drew.”
I always leave my shift glad I was able to create some happy memories for a family.Lorainne, Starlight Volunteer
During one shift Lorainne engages with a range of families and kids:
- "A softly spoken mum tells me she’s been in hospital with her child for seven months. She settles into a beanbag while I help her daughter choose a movie to watch."
- "A three-year-old enters trailing a drip trolley and wants to dance Gangnam Style with me. We dance together and he then tells me I need to practise some more. His mum and I have a good laugh!"
- "A dad comes in with his two boys to play Xbox Fifa soccer. One in a school uniform the other connected to a drip trolley. There is much laughter and high fiving when one of the kids wins."
“Volunteering with Starlight gives me an opportunity to contribute something that has great meaning to children and families when they really need it,” says Lorainne. “The commitment is achievable, the rewards are immense. A smile on a little face is the best reward of all.”
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