Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2017 – The Heavenly Voyager in the Hospital

Name: Harrison Chan
From: Sunnyside, New York
Grade: 9
School: Stuyvesant High School
Votes: 0

Harrison
Chan

The
Heavenly Voyager in the Hospital

After
my daily tutoring classes last summer, I would run to the Elmhurst
Hospital in Queens, NY. Relief would wash over me as my skin met the
cool air-conditioned air of the hospital after being roasted in the
sweltering heat outside. From Monday to Friday, working a noon to
5:00pm shift, I would volunteer for the B5 Unit, also known as the
geriatric unit. Each day brought new tasks and new patients to
interact with, to have their personalities and behaviors be
understood, and to return home with a soreness in the legs, but a
warm feeling in the heart.

The
B5 unit was known for having older patients ranging in age from their
60s to 80s. Hevoy, whose name meant “heavenly voyager,” however,
was a soft-spoken man with abnormally-colored eyes who appeared to be
in his 30s and would always say thank you for the slightest
assistance from a volunteer or nurse. One day, I plopped down on a
chair beside him to get to know him better. As it turned out, he
worked as a minister for the Kingdom Life Church in Connecticut. He
spoke at length about his faith and how he had been enlightened
spiritually to gain a deeper appreciation for life, to accept
everyone and everything, to be humble and kind. The source of his
abnormally-colored eyes was the reason he was a patient in the B5
unit: a blood vessel had burst in his eye, causing swelling and a
pink hue.  

Patients
such as Hevoy were the reason why I wanted to work at Elmhurst
Hospital. It was not about the volunteer hours nor was it about
pretending to present myself as an outspoken philanthropist. It was
about meeting new people, broadening my own horizons through my
interactions with them, and contributing to the neighborhood whenever
I had the chance.

Contributions
to the the community, no matter how big or how small, make the
neighborhood a community. Whether it be the construction of a new
playground for children or the establishment of educational programs,
volunteerism offers community members the opportunity to give back to
their community.

There
is this warm feeling that many people say they experience when they
offer their services honestly and altruistically. This innate
gratification that comes from helping others fuels my commutes to
Elmhurst Hospital.
Like
the myriad gears that run a clock, the success and happiness of a
community as whole rests on the individual efforts and contributions
of its members.


Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".