13 Oct INTRODUCING OCTOBER BUDDY OF THE MONTH: SAMI TANO
Our organization’s strong leaders have been crucial as we have adapted to the current pandemic and pivoted the services we provide. In the past months, we have transitioned from college students volunteering in hospitals to virtual visits with pediatric patients and seniors. Our Buddy of the Month, Sami Tano, has found a way to implement change and adapt to the challenges volunteers have been facing in her local chapter.
Sami is a senior at our University of Miami chapter and serves as their Chapter Leader. She is pursuing her degree in microbiology and immunology with a pre-med focus. Sami has volunteered with StudentsCare for 2 years and says that this organization has been one of the highlights of her college career. As Sami prepares for a future career in medicine, she says that the Child Life Specialists she has worked with during this experience have included her and fellow volunteers in the teamwork and commitment that is necessary for a successful career in healthcare. A highlight of Sami’s time as a hospital buddy was the opportunity to visit with a patient as she went back and forth for recurring hospital admissions. From the first encounter, Sami and her buddy clicked and found joy in all activities by talking and sharing laughter. Some of the activities Sami and her buddy enjoyed most were coloring and playing with the patient’s dolls. The largest takeaway she has gained from her buddy is the power of positivity during adversity.
Sami has worked alongside the University of Miami’s chapter leadership team to adapt our services to fit the needs of the populations they serve in their local community, during this time when social distancing keeps them from visiting in person. The UM Chapter has collaborated with Child Life Specialist, Beth Carroll, at Holtz Children’s Hospital, to live stream activities for hospitalized pediatric patients through our Instagram account. These activities will replace our usual playroom events that occurred before the COVID-19 pandemic. They have planned multiple live stream events this year that patients will be able to watch and participate virtually with volunteers! Sami has led these efforts, as well as working with Holtz staff to provide virtual visits for children currently in the hospital.
Thank you for all you do, Sami. We are so grateful for your kindness and passion for doing good for others! We look forward to your continued efforts and seeing how they make such a positive difference in your community!