A bedridden child’s smile. My volunteer mission
Imagine being sick, or really old, and not being allowed to be with your loved ones, or to receive the visit of your friends. You might need peace and quiet to get well or rest, but there will be times, idle times in which you need something to cheer you up, give up something to think about, or spark a desire to quietly create.
I believe that a single story has the power to change someone’s world. Stories do not only provide amusement, they help us heal. They can carry us through fear and give us hope. They can take our sadness and cuddle it, give it meaning, make us believe again.
If you read my “Off Being the Night” post, you will know that I am just becoming a storycrafter. Just as my soul is recreating itself, I am striving to make that new shape one of service. I want to be able to serve through how I am, not through what I know how to do.
So right now, Storycrafter is mostly a path to fund a volunteer adventure, a quest that will take my stories to hospital and senior residences, to children and elderly alike. Just like a hobbit, I am starting this journey with no idea where my feet might swept me off to. But I have always loved adventure, and I as I lived through several of them, I have learnt to allow myself to be swept off to unknown territories. I always end up way beyond where I would have planned.
I got this new idea after a friend with cancer asked me to tell her a story to cheer her up. I realized that, at least in Chile, there’s lots of people , children specially, that are in hospital and CANNOT receive visitors (Due to visitors hours and/or health restraints). Manyvlocal public hospitals have 12:00pm-18:oopm visitor’s hours. Many senior residences have people that none visits.
What would happen if I could reach children in these hospital wards, children that CANNOT receive visitors due to health concerns for example, and tell them stories IN REAL TIME, through a tablet, and have them interact with me? What if I could do one storytelling session for a child in the south of my country and 15 minutes later I could start another one for a senior resident in Florida?
What if this works and I could help create a small group of storytellers that would volunteer to tell stories in different cities?
This is my mission, right now. I am not going to lie. I have never done this before so it might not work, it might be impossible. Maybe technology restraints stop me before I can start.
But what if it DOES work?
I think its worth a try. And in order to make the road easier, I have divided the project into phases.
In this phase I aim to get the training needed to work with seriously ill children and their families, and with lonely seniors. I will work closely both with health and storytelling professionals to prepare myself.
I will also do all the project’s planning, with the aim of having a list of supplies and tech requirements needed to make this project work and reach as many people as possible.
The first tablet will be delivered to a hospital and the service will start on a tryout basis. The aim is to fix mistakes, improve and set up the basis for future developments.
The service will expand to at least three hospitals or senior residences.
I will create a separate website, dedicated exclusively to the volunteer service and start to open the idea to other people. The idea is to study to which groups the service can be expanded to.
I will train and coordinate other storytellers, so that more people will get involved and more kids can be reached through this initiative. This way, our service will spread faster and better with all in need of attention, love and care while their go through a difficult moment of their lives.
I will need help with is, as I will need to free work hours, dedicate energy and time to make this truly work. I need you. PLease come and help!