“Happiness is being an Akron Children’s Hospital volunteer, Charlie Brown.”
In a Peanuts-themed volunteer recognition luncheon last week, more than 30 Akron Children’s Hospital volunteers from the Mahoning Valley were honored for reaching milestone service levels, including one who’s worked more than 7,000 hours.
Canfield resident Amanda Crago helps check-in patients registering for X-rays and other outpatient services at Akron Children’s Beeghly campus. While a permanent disability keeps her from working a traditional job she’s been devoting 4 days per week to serving children at the hospital since 2009.
“I was a kid in the hospital back in the day, and I experienced many of the things these kids are going through, so I just love being able to relate to them and help out,” Amanda said.
Nearly 100 volunteers attended the annual event, as did Akron Children’s President and CEO Bill Considine and Vice President of Human Resources Walt Schwoeble.
“It’s very uplifting to see all the volunteers in the same room at once; as a staff we never get that opportunity,” said Sue Heher, volunteer supervisor at Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley, who manages about 150 volunteers. “What’s most encouraging is to see people who have been here literally for years. They come weekly and just love what they do. For some of them they’ve been coming since the hospital opened 8 years ago.”
To keep the event lighthearted and happy the tradition has evolved to keep the theme a surprise until guests enter. This year, where dozens of volunteers were recognized for reaching hours-served milestones for 250, 500, 750, 1,000 and beyond hours, attendees were delighted to see Snoopy doghouses as centerpieces, among other detailed Peanuts-related touches.