Madison visited my therapeutic play class at Auburn University in the Spring. She talked about Smile-A-Mile, volunteering, camps and the hospital outreach program. I was so excited to learn about SAM so I asked if there were internships available and there were! I applied and interviewed and got the “Camp Intern” position. I truly did not know what I was joining. I had heard amazing things from classmates and previous volunteers. Nothing they said has come close to capturing what I should have expected.
My SAM story has been quite a journey in such a short time. I wish I could put into words what this organization has meant to me, sadly I cannot. The staff welcomed me on day one and has proven to be a hard-working family since then. I have been lucky enough to join this family for the summer. I was excited to go to work every single day. Working with all the kids at camp is truly a blessing. Kids get to be kids, they do not have to worry about anything going on at home or school or with their diagnosis. The volunteers I have interacted with have been loving and dedicated to SAM.
Throughout the summer I have heard many times, Smile A Mile will fix what the doctors can’t. I have felt that every day in the hospital, at camp and at the office. Smile A Mile picks up all the left-over pieces from treatment and puts them back together. I am truly grateful for the opportunity and experiences I have had this summer. SAM will have a special place in my heart and I hope to continue being involved in some way.