In the summer of 2007, I was the precocious marketing coordinator for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University. My boss, the Dean, had just given me the keys to take a more active role in the school’s student club system.Since many of the clubs had a disconnect among them, I thought a great way to bring them together would be in a collective service project. I decided that we’d collect books and toys and donate them to Miami Children’s Hospital. A good start, right?
After a Google search revealed the proper place for my call, I dialed up the Community and Volunteer Resources Department. Call it serendipity, but I was inspired by what I was working on, so when I was asked whether or not I was interested in also becoming a volunteer, I said ‘sure, why not?’ And so it began. A few short weeks later, I was officially a volunteer at Radio Lollipop, a radio station that brings comfort and play to patients at Miami Children’s Hospital. Now? I’m hosting the 7th Annual Radio Lollipop ‘Night at the Improv’ to watch this one-time $4,000 event shatter a $100,000 ceiling – in grand fashion. It’s one of many powerful experiences that this program has given me and I don’t expect it to be the last. And here’s why.
Becoming a volunteer at Radio Lollipop was a lot like falling in love. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I fell hard and I’ve given it my all ever since. Now I can’t imagine what my life would be like without it.
On Tuesday nights, whether I was in a good mood or not, I’d leave Radio Lollipop with another version of the same story. No matter how many times I saw it, it still blew my mind.
Would you be surprised to know that a 5 or 6 year old with a terminal heart defect has a better view of life’s priorities than you do? For the better part of five years I’ve done my part, but my greatest experience was given to me; not by me. I’m 27 years old and I’ve encountered 4 year olds who are better suited for living than I am. What have I learned at Radio Lollipop? Everyone is fighting a battle, many of which are not in our hands. What is in our hands is how we’ll respond when we’re tested. We can complain and we can retreat. Or we can fight with a smile, simply because we choose to.
Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to support Radio Lollipop. 100% of your donation supports our initiatives to bring comfort and play to kids at Miami Children’s Hospital.