Name: Samantha Haire
From: Phoenix, Arizona
School: Mountain Pointe High School
Volunteering has been a part of my life since 2011 when I began to volunteer to
feed the homeless. From that year on I have logged over two hundred
hours of community service in areas of my community. Including, Relay
for Life, CMS Humanities Camp, and multiple other aspects of the
community. Though, my experience as a volunteer for Arizona Camp
Sunrise & Sidekicks in the summer of 2015 helped shape my life in
a multitude of ways.
Arizona Camp Sunrise & Sidekicks is a camp for cancer survivors and their
sibling, and each summer they get the chance to be like normal kids.
Where they run around on water day, go to the lake, throw jello, take
classes, and whatever else they want. While being supervised by
trained volunteers, and with a medical staff nearby for emergencies.
My time as a volunteer at the camp consisted of me getting up early
to spend time with my campers, serving meals, announcements, camp
classes, night activities, and the last to hit the hay at night. It
was an exhausting week since for me what I wanted was last on the
list. This was not a volunteer opportunity where I went home at night
or meals at home, my time was 100% spent there. I would not have
traded a second of that time at all.
The kids at the camp inspired me with how strong they are about their
diagnosis and treatment. That every day that they smiled and all they
wanted to do was play even though they were terminally sick.
Inspiring me that what I was doing there was just not to better my
community or myself, but to better their lives. To make that one week
the time of their life, and make them want to go back. This camp
inspired me that impacts adults can have on a sick child’s life. This
experience helped me realize also that these kids while sick are just
like every other kid in the world, that not even cancer will stop
them. Camp Sunrise showed me a new side of life when I volunteered,
and what it should be like to grow up when the universe pushes you
down. Which is how I decided to volunteer at Cardon Children’s
Medical Center, and enter college to study a healthcare degree that
will allow me to further this spark that has been started. In hopes
that I can make kids smile and forget their troubles for more than
just a week at a time.