Chelsey Cook volunteers at Tri Delta Place, a housing facility of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She has been in that position for just over a year. Typically, she spends her shift cleaning and sanitizing toys, helping with some of the many dinners Tri Delta Place provides, assisting with crafts, or generally interacting with the kids and parents. When Chelsey spoke about why she chose to volunteer at St. Jude, she said, “I love children, and I wanted to give back to the community. So, I decided to volunteer in a place that was dedicated to the well-being of children.”
Chelsey’s favorite memory is of reading to a young patient. “Seeing the joy in her eyes as I read to her warmed my heart,” Chelsey said. “When I finished that story, she kept bringing more books back for me to read to her.”
Experiences like these have had a profound impact on Chelsey. “I have come to realize that life is a precious gift and not to take it for granted,” she said. “When the struggles and disappointments of life tend to get me down, I think about the courageous kids of St. Jude.”
She said that she understands that no matter the circumstances, life can still be enjoyed; the patients here have taught her that resilience and fortitude.
If an individual wants to make a child’s day better, St. Jude is the place to be, Chelsey says. She understands the incredibly positive environment at St. Jude. “I feel truly blessed to volunteer in a place that not only focuses on a child’s health, but also gives them opportunities to experience activities that healthy children enjoy,” she said. Tri Delta Place gives children many opportunities to play once they have left the hospital.
Previously, Chelsey volunteered in both Memphis and Chattanooga during high school and college. When she is not at St. Jude, she works, attends school, participates in her church, and enjoys spending time with family and friends. She said, “I just love St. Jude and what they do for the patients and families. I’m so glad I am able to volunteer at such a wonderful place with wonderful people!”