In a time filled with so much uncertainty, there are always heroes that shine out of the darkness, determined to make a difference. Some of the heroes come in the form of healthcare workers, grocery store employees, and for us its our Student Buddies who have stepped up to make a difference in their communities, and have found ways to be creative and serve in new capacities.  Our wonderful University of Texas-Austin StudentsCare Chapter President, Maryam Khan, found a way to connect with our hospital buddies from the safety of her own home.  Maryam created a platform on our website where volunteers can create videos reading stories, playing music, and even demonstrating arts & craft activities. We have shared these videos with our hospital partners so they can be accessed by patients and help keep them entertained and connected with us, while our Buddies are unable to be there in person. When asked where her inspiration for the idea came from , Maryam said, “I have really missed the buddies I was working with before the pandemic, and I thought back to activities I use to do with them in person. I found that we could still interact with our buddies even at home. The virtual volunteering page was so fun to make, and it allowed me to fill the website with videos of me reading the same stories that my mom read to me when I was a kid.”

An online activity platform isn’t the only way Maryam is making a difference. She has worked with our program staff to provide lunch for their hospital’s Child Life Staff and helped deliver activity kits to keep pediatric patients engaged. “My volunteering experience has been really meaningful”, said Maryam. “As a future health professional, I really want connect and support the populations I would like to serve one day as a doctor, and I’m glad to do my part to help those who may not be able to help themselves right now.”

Maryam is currently a Junior at the University of Texas, and is delighted to keep volunteering with StudentsCare for another year, “StudentsCare is such a great organization with such a meaningful mission. It is so unique, and I am very lucky to be able to work with them to make a difference”. Maryam’s commitment to others resembles a famous quote from one of our favorite childhood movies, Hercules: “A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the size of his heart.” You, Maryam, have an enormous heart. We are grateful to have you in our program!

Visit our virtual volunteering page on our website and join in the fun with your kids at home!

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