Hospitals in Vietnam only provide medical care and nothing else. Often, parents of pediatric patients would take turns caring for their children after working all day, then come to the hospital to administer medication, feed, and bathe their children. They are often too exhausted to do anything else. So, when we came in to do these fun activities with the children, it became the “highlight” of their day/week, we were told.
Mimi and Kellie started out doing everything, from researching craft activities to packing them for our mission trips, to conducting the arts & craft activities with the pediatric patients. The following year in 2016, they were joined by Heidi Rushing and her son, Layton. Layton’s Eagle Scout service project was planning the craft projects for the children in the Pediatric wing at Da Nang Hospital for Women and Children.
Soon, our team of volunteers’ spouses and their children wanted to be involved and from then, it snowballed into this big annual project that allowed us to also gift each patient with toys and some money in red envelopes for their parents. The positive feedback we received from both sides were invaluable: the young patients, young volunteers and all parents gained unforgettable experiences. In fact, one of our young volunteers, Dr. Alisa Modena’s daughter Sophia wrote a beautiful article about her experience that was published in her home town’s paper.