UL Teddy Bear Hospital 2018-2019
UL Teddy Bear Hospital
University of Limerick student: Amy Olsen - Minnesota USA. Award: Plassey PVA.
Year: Third Faculty: Science & Engineering
Organisation: UL Chaplaincy – Teach Fáilte Role: Meet & Greet Host.
‘I learned about Teach Fáilte and their resources. Teach Fáilte is a welcoming and open space where students are able to go to whenever they like. I have learned more about the importance of communication and community in terms of collaboration. This helped me to become more personable with people as I welcomed them to Teach Fáilte and tried to be a friend or assist them in their needs.
I volunteered as a way to meet and interact with Irish culture, as I am an international student. I chose this organization because it seemed like a good fit for me since I also have faith and got to know Sr. Sarah O’Rourke. I also volunteer weekly back in the States so it was a good opportunity to be able to experience volunteering in another country and giving back to the community that helped to embrace me in my time there.
I helped to contribute a positive atmosphere where students could feel welcome at any time. I also contributed to a clean and inviting environment by tidying up Teach Fáilte and providing students with whatever they may have needed. Stations where students could go if they needed a specific type of resource.
My volunteering activities and responsibilities were to greet students and faculty who came into Teach Fáilte. I also had to make sure the space remained tidy. I have realized that volunteering can be simple gestures in giving back to the community – not a huge production and learned that the smallest gestures can sometimes make the biggest impact.
I worked alongside Haley Dunn and we would join others in conversation and help each other clean. I had to overcome my discomfort when talking to strangers and how I overcame it was remembering to think of them feeling welcome over my own feelings.
This experience has changed my communication skills as it helped me to learn how to have meaningful and valuable conversations with people I may not know very well.
I think it will affect my mind-set on reaching out to new people and opportunities. It will also help me to be more welcoming to everyone and help me to serve others humbly’.
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