For nearly two years, Linda Angevine has been coming to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to volunteer as a Kay Kafe Companion. In this role, Angevine greets and assists families by carrying their trays and clearing tables during the fast-paced lunch hours at the Kay Kafe.
“I hope that as a Kay Kafe Companion, I can relieve a tiny bit of stress in the lives of the families at St. Jude,” she says. “I do what I can to help the parents focus on their kids, even if it is something small like carrying a tray or cleaning a table.”
Angevine moved to Memphis in 2015 and was eager to get involved in volunteering at St. Jude. In 1956, before she was born, Angevine had a brother that passed away at 18 months old. Although her family lived in Kansas City at the time, her brother was admitted to a hospital four hours away in St. Louis. She knows how hard it was on her parents, because they weren’t always able to be with their son during that time. Angevine says her parents didn’t get the kind of interaction with her brother that is offered in hospitals today, which is part of the reason she started volunteering at St. Jude.
“You never know when a catastrophic illness is going to affect your family. It is comforting to know there are places like St. Jude,” says Angevine.
In addition to her position as a Kay Kafe Companion, Angevine also volunteers in the Child Life Department.
“Volunteering here has exceeded my expectations,” she says. “I have met so many wonderful people and families from all over the world. It makes me happy to see the kids happy—but I’m not here to get something out of volunteering. I’m here to serve.”