Meet June’s Volunteer of the Month
“Robin is one of the most dedicated volunteers at D.C. General,” says Ron Sheffer, site manager. “She is always willing to help out wherever necessary, helping with fundraising, and participating in every event. Robin is one of the most patient volunteers with the kids. She always finds their strengths and is able to draw out their talents.”
Here’s what she had to say:
Why did you get involved in Playtime?
I was just out of grad school and looking for volunteer opportunities with children. I had always been interested in this, but didn’t have the time while in school, and didn’t have any particular type of organization in mind. I stumbled across Playtime’s website through Google, and the prospect of working with children experiencing homelessness really intrigued me.
How has volunteering with Playtime affected you?
Before Playtime, I hadn’t had any meaningful interaction with those experiencing homelessness. Through Playtime, I have gained first-hand exposure to the difficulties and trauma families can go through. Volunteering has inspired me to be an advocate for homeless and low-income families.
Share a memorable moment as a Playtime volunteer.
Four-year-old “Nasir” had slammed his art craft on the ground and yelled out because he made a mistake cutting the construction paper. I said that when we make mistakes, reacting like that isn’t good for us. He asked, “What do you do if you’re frustrated?” I responded, “You can do breathing like this” and started inhaling in and out in the pattern of Lamaze breathing (which I had learned from TV; I was totally caught off guard by his question). So Nasir started doing Lamaze breathing.
What else do you want people to know about your work with Playtime?
There’s no one way to “do” Playtime: you can be a bubbly, outgoing person or a somewhat shy, reserved person (like me) and anything in between. There are just as many personality types among the kids. Playtime lets you tap into your inner kid and have fun, from building train tracks to painting with watercolors to preparing a picnic with Mr. Potato Head.