This past Saturday, April 13, hundreds of University students came out to participate in the Madison House BIG Event. Through service-oriented activities at various locations around Charlottesville, the BIG Event promotes campus and community unity as students come together for one day to express their gratitude for the support from the surrounding community.
Every year, I pick up a different Madison House program as well, it just depends on what's going to fit my schedule the best! Through Madison House, I've volunteered with New Century Hospice, where I would act as a companion once a week to patients. As a companion, my job was mainly reading, playing board games, passing the time, or just listening to what the patients wanted to say. I initially joined because I was pre-med at the time, but I stayed with the program for the eye-opening and rewarding experience. It was decidedly the most difficult volunteering experience I've ever had, due to the nature of the position. But I always felt like I was doing something that mattered; a little act of kindness goes a long way.
Jaime Lear is a second-year chemistry major with a sign language minor. Currently, Jaime volunteers through Madison House as a patient ambassador at the hospital where she fulfills deliveries and special requests from patients by visiting the different floors with a cart of entertaining things to offer, such as magazines or crossword puzzles.