Partnerships: Better Day Buddies
The Better Day Buddies program is nearing it’s 2nd anniversary in the Treatment Center at Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center. It’s focus from the beginning has been to provide opportunities for children to engage in creative activities and be entertained by performers during a time when they are receiving treatment for their cancer. Better Day Buddies are caring and committed people in our community that strive to brighten a child’s day through engaging them in educationally focused craft activities that promote a positive sense of accomplishment. The volunteers bring to the program compassion, sincerity, and patience. They encourage the children to lead the activity and show their creativity. Most important is that they let the child be a child during a time that can be overwhelming and fearful.
Preschool and school age children enjoy the variety of creative crafts provided through the Better Day Buddy Program which are geared just for them and they get to bring them home at the end of the day. There is a learning opportunity in each bag that is created. The bags hold a variety of things that can be done throughout the day. The children look forward to coming to their appointment because they anticipate what might be waiting for them in the bag.
Better Day Buddies reaches out to the older children through their generous donation of video gaming systems. Some of the teens enjoy escaping into their room and relaxing in front of a video game while they receive their treatment. Other teens take advantage of the meal that Better Day Buddies provides at lunch time. Patients and families who are in the Pediatric Treatment Center at lunchtime appreciate the food that is provided by the Better Day Buddies. The program allows these families the flexibility of receiving a hot lunch as opposed to bringing a sack lunch from home. This is one less thing that a parent has to worry about.
Better Day Buddies doesn’t just stop there. In addition to the activities and gaming systems, they periodically bring in professional performers to sparkle the day. It is those unexpected ‘wows” that add excitement into the families stay. Performers bring their expertise and share their talent to the audience of patients, families, and staff.
But wait, there is even more. Better Day Buddies has also subscribed to numerous magazines that brings current reading materials for families. These magazines have been selected specifically to suit the variety of ages that frequent the treatment center.
The comfort of the parents in knowing that the treatment center and programs such as this are available for their child, helps create opportunities for parents to focus on nurturing their child and themselves. Our appreciation goes out to Eileen and Lisa for their inspiration and for making a dream become a reality. Their family of volunteers are to be commended for their dedication in seeing that for each and every day of the program that someone is here with a smile ready to welcome a family in and to serve them.
Thank you for making a difference in the life of a child undergoing chemotherapy and for supporting families in our own community.