Bridget Beckley was looking for something fulfilling to do during summer break. That is when she found the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Summer Volunteer Program.
Beckley volunteered in several capacities—collecting wagons as a Ready Runner, playing with patients as a Helping Hands volunteer and passing out crafts with the Happy Cart. During a normal shift, she greeted parents and patients, escorted guests to desired areas and kept common areas tidy.
She says she loved the positivity and support seen throughout St. Jude.
“It was typical to see genuine care on the faces of staff members,” she said. “I witnessed children getting high-fived from security guards, a welcoming smile from Environmental Services staff, a pat on the back from a nurse and children playing a quick game of hide and seek with a volunteer.”
Beckley teaches at a local school and wanted to volunteer to give her perspective. She sees children persevere through adversities daily, but says looking into the eyes of St. Jude patients and their families, is humbling.
Beckley recalled her favorite memory was during a Helping Hands shift.
“I sat with a child in the Solid Tumor Unit whose mom left to run errands,” she said. “My time with him truly tested my endurance because he challenged me to a singing and rap battle. He provided the beats and rated me and a staff member on each performance. It was serious.”
She says St. Jude naturally imparts excitement because of the spirit woven into the hospital’s foundation and advises anyone with ties to Memphis should get involved.
Beckley noted the many benefits of volunteering.
While at St. Jude, volunteers work alongside people in many different roles,” she said. “Being able to bring a smile to the faces of a child in pain or a weary, yet hopeful, parent did it for me. It is a joy to see the St. Jude ‘machine’ move in tandem to make it all work seamlessly. I am glad to have been a part of it all.”
When Beckley is not teaching English as a second language, she enjoys spending time with her family and keeps busy with her church choir.