Little Smiles' hands-on approach and Chester County Hospital's personal touch has brought these two organizations together forming a relationship that goes hand in hand. Both organizations see to it that the needs of the patients are met and that the patients are as happy as they can be while staying in the Hospital.
The mission of Little Smiles is to help kids escape the reality of their unfortunate circumstances, even if it is for a short period of time. Their main goal is to put a smile back on their faces. Volunteers from Little Smiles work very closely as hands-on partners with nurses, social workers, and hospital staff who know the kids best. They rely on the staff to identify children's needs and initiate requests to the organization. Paul Gouge, Board Member of Little Smiles, notes, "Being a part of Little Smiles means I am able to reach out to people in ways I never thought possible. A simple smile can convey so much."
Paul describes Chester County Hospital as "having a small-town feel with expert knowledge, experience and partnerships to get you the care you need with a personal touch." This personal touch is similar to the manner in which Little Smiles works. Little Smiles is a volunteer run organization, handling each request for help personally and on an individual basis. They take a simple request, such as a request for an iPod from an ill child and personalize it to be fully loaded with extra iTunes cards.
In addition to fulfilling individual requests from patients to make their hospital stay more comfortable, Little Smiles has donated funds for larger projects for Chester County Hospital that will benefit hundreds of children. In fiscal year 2009, Little Smiles made a donation to remodel the children's playroom in the Pediatrics Unit, and most recently in fiscal year 2010, they generously donated funds to renovate the hallway in the Pediatrics Unit, making it a more friendly and upbeat environment for the children and the staff. As Paul states, "I love the fact that we are able to take on projects focused on an entire hospital or pediatric unit. These projects make a huge impact on everyone." Custom murals were painted on the walls in the hallway by LouLou's Whimsicals. In addition, the wallpaper and carpeting were replaced. The Pediatrics Unit now has a fresh, new look that is bright and inspiring for the children.
We thank Little Smiles for all they have done and continue to do for Chester County Hospital and our patients.
By Dina Leaman
Pictured from left: Pediatric Nurse Kathy Urbine, RN, Paul Gouge,
Kate Patterson, Matt Patterson, muralist Lou Marshall, and Pediatric Nurse
Lori Plans, RN. All are members of the Little Smiles board of directors.