The Grand Rapids North, Michigan Ross Medical Education Center campus is passionate about helping their community. They work hard to make a difference, and in doing that have loved their work with a particular local volunteer organization. The Pediatric Oncology Resource Team (P.O.R.T.) is a great group of families that help other families that are battling life threatening illnesses or a child that going through cancer.
The Pediatric Oncology Resource Team works with local Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. This group of volunteers helps collect the basic supplies for families that have a long term stay at the hospital while their children are getting treatments. The Grand Rapids North campus decided that they would collect snacks to help fill the pantry for these families. Some of the things that they collected were:
- Boxes of instant oatmeal
- Pop tarts
- Cheese Crackers
- 5 bags of assorted candies
- Mini bags of chips
- Microwavable meals
- Cans of Soup
- Boxes of fruit snacks
- Granola bars
By the end of the drive, the campus had succeeded in filling five huge boxes with items that the staff and students collected. The campus was thrilled to be able to help provide snacks and small meals to the parents or siblings that are staying with the sick children and not able to leave the hospital. However, the Pediatric Oncology Resource Team doesn’t just collect snacks. They do a lot of other amazing things such as offer accessible information about what a child may be going through, various treatment options, coping skills, and even different methods of parenting. The community also provides great company and little surprises to help keep a smile on the faces of the family members.
The Pediatric Oncology Resource Team also has many other volunteer teams that do their best to help the families get through trying times. Some of those team members help support with one-on-one care for the family and by building great friendships. They have respite care which is a very impactful opportunity for families. Many parents come with their sick child and have to speak with the team of doctors about the plan of care and treatment. In those sorts of scenarios, they often do not want to talk in front of the child so they ask volunteers to come in and talk or play a game with the child.
If you have a big heart and want to help do something small that makes a HUGE difference contact the P.O.R.T. Program Coordinator, Colleen Thompson at (616) 267-1159. Or if you would like to make a donation to support the P.O.R.T. Program, please visit give.spectrumhealth.org/donate.