During the month of November, Help-A-Heart will be putting the spotlight on various ways people support and donate to our organization throughout the year. Obviously, attending one of our annual fundraisers–the Celebration of Life Dinner & Silent Auction in June & the Superhero Heart Run in October–are two big ways you can further our cause! We also receive several cash donations online through our website or mailed to us throughout the year. However, we are humbled & encouraged by the unique ways some of our heart families & their friends choose to support us & wanted to make sure they know how much we appreciate these special gestures. We’ll be posting a few ideas a week as a part of our 30 Days of Thanks!
Thanks to Kyle Davy for writing up this guest blog post about how he volunteers his time for Help-A-Heart & why it is important to him. Kyle has been a childcare volunteer for our monthly support group meetings since 2010.
Kyle & Andrew Burton, heart hero, playing tag at a monthly support group meeting in 2013
I never intended on having Help-a-Heart become such an important part of my life. I still remember the first meeting Amanda and I attended almost 8 years ago. Amanda had just started medical school at Des Moines University and was looking to get her student organization involved in the community. I wasn’t too keen on helping out, but reluctantly joined her for the first meeting to provide childcare. Little did we know that from that day on, hanging out with the Help-A-Heart kids would become something that we both looked forward to each and every month for years to come.
Providing childcare during Help-a-Heart support group meetings is such a rewarding experience. It’s an opportunity for everyone to be together and just be kids – to have fun & laugh. We play games, make arts and crafts, and act silly. But most importantly for the kids, it’s an opportunity to leave the label of being a heart kid or the sibling of a heart kid at the door – it does not matter for that hour and a half. Everyone is the same. That’s what we love most about it.
Soon our months of volunteering turned into years. The kids we met so long ago have become teenagers – I feel like we have literally grown up with them. Kids that weren’t even born when we first started volunteering at meetings have now become the new regulars. Amanda and I would not trade this experience for anything. We love Help-A-Heart and it’s families, and love working together each month with everyone!
Kyle Davy & Amanda Jepson, Help-A-Heart Support Group Meeting Childcare Volunteers
Kyle is the Chief Revenue Officer for the Iowa Wolves and has been with them for 8 seasons. Kyle handles the corporate partnerships and business development incentives. Amanda is in her first year of her pediatric cardiology fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Omaha. She attended medical school at Des Moines University where she received her DO degree and then completed her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Omaha & UNMC. Amanda is a family friend of Emily Graber and started volunteering after a last minute Facebook post asking for volunteers to help with childcare at a support group meeting. They both showed up and the rest is history.