By Meagan McIntyre
Last Friday, the SAP North America healthcare team had the amazing opportunity to volunteer at Shriners Children’s Hospital in the heart of Philadelphia. I was excited for the opportunity to give back to a philanthropy hospital and curious to learn more about the organization; little did I know that Shriners would be one of the happiest places I have ever been.
Shriners offers free healthcare to any child in need around the world; we met children from Argentina, Uganda, Philadelphia and beyond. Many of these children had leg braces and wheel chairs and they receive top notch care in a well decorated, well designed facility.
Our mission was to help brighten the children’s day through crafts and gifts; in return these adorable children sure brightened our day in the process! We sat down and helped children paint and draw and put together craft kits. We also left behind dozens of craft bags so that children in the future could make crafts, have crayons, and even wear a crown like we did!
After craft time, the nine of us took a tour of the facility and realized anew the impact that quality Healthcare has on a child’s life. We saw children that would have never been able to walk if they were not given a perfectly fitting brace, and we met children that had received surgery to save their lives. Many of the rooms we saw were Physical therapy rooms that felt like a McDonald’s play place, a play grocery store, or a play bank (as you can see in the picture below). There was even a pool at 98 degrees where children could have pool parties with their peers!
It was such an amazing, uplifting opportunity to give back to our community. We experienced the happiness that Booker T. Washington described when he said, “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”