“Volunteers don’t necessarily have the time, but they have the heart.” That quote is from Elizabeth Andrew, an Australian politician. Perhaps she knew the volunteers of the Beaumont Parenting Program, who consistently give of their hearts and their time, even though they often keep little of that time for themselves. That is certainly true of Nathan Wright, the focus of this “The Face of Beaumont Parenting.”
Nathan is a 19-year-old student at Oakland University from Macomb, Michigan. He’s studying elementary education to become a teacher, and says that his favorite children’s book is “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. He serves the BPP as a hearing screener, and a tour guide for the Maternal Fetal Health unit. Tour guides provide prospective parents information about the facilities and services that Beaumont Health has to offer as these families bring their new babies into the world. Tour guides are often the first face that new parents put to the hospital experience, apart from their OBs, and they’re critical to the start of a great Beaumont experience for those families.
It isn’t surprising that Nathan’s favorite quote is the one given above. In addition to attending school, and volunteering in dual roles for the BPP, he’s also a recreational aide in Shelby Township. Beyond all of that, Nathan also does volunteer work for Circle K (an organization for college students, affiliated with Kiwanis, which promotes leadership, service and fellowship), Kids Against Hunger (whose mission is to fight hunger in children in the U.S. and around the world), and Meals on Wheels (which provides home delivered meals to homebound people in need). All of the heart Nathan gives to all of these organizations probably accounts for the fact that he feels he has little time — so little time, in fact, that he didn’t list any hobbies when I asked what he did in his spare time. (What’s spare time? Right, Nathan?)
With respect to his role as a BPP volunteer, Nathan says that he chose to volunteer to “give back to the community and because (he) love(s) the hospital environment.” He goes on to say that his favorite part of being a BPP volunteer is “meeting all the different patients and their families, and getting to know them in such a small amount of time.”
On behalf of the BPP, I would like to thank Nathan for the time, and the heart, that he gives to the families of the BPP. It seems certain that this young man will make the transition (just like the Very Hungry Caterpillar) from a caring college student who makes a difference to parents and their little ones, to an amazing elementary school teacher who makes a difference to little ones and their parents.
– Nicole Capozello is a Parenting Program volunteer