Avan Aziz is one of hundreds of teens throughout the Big Bend area volunteering this summer. Aziz is helping to brighten the day of patients receiving chemotherapy at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.
Avan says, "In the cancer outpatient center I make sure basically that the patients are comfortable while receiving chemotherapy. A lot of them are very nice, very friendly, and it's that atmosphere that keeps students coming back year after year.”
Amy McDaniel, Volunteer Coordinator at TMH, says, “Volunteers in general are just amazing to the hospital. As you know (as most people know), the hospital is short staffed, so we can use all the hands we can handle. It helps us in a lot of ways.”
The hospital is not the only place offering volunteer programs. At the Layfette Community Center, students are able to get hands-on experience working with children.
Amanda Leighty, who volunteers, says, “Caring for kids will help you immensely in just about anything, especially if you're going to be a parent. You just take care of kids and have fun with them.”
And that experience has impacted some at an early age.
Eric Smith, another volunteer, says, "I've been coming here since I was a young child. It's a really great camp to just have fun all day and we get volunteer hours to help graduate high school, and the people are just excellent here.”
It’s an opportunity some say has made a difference in their lives and those who benefit from their contribution. If you're interested in volunteering, all you have to do is call the hospital or community center and let them know.