Cougars for Kids provides volunteer opportunity, rewarding experience
Lois Nichols, assistant director of and six-year volunteer with Cougars for Kids at UH, advocates the sense of achievement commonly experienced by both volunteers and the children they are helping.
Cougars for Kids at UH, a program centered around spreading tokens of good will in the form of volunteer hours, strives to give back to those participating in as big of a way as they are giving to those children in need. It encourages the UH community to volunteer at local hospitals and schools.
“Working at Texas Children’s Hospital, I’ve found that no matter how much you give you always get more back … seeing what (the kids) go through and still having positive attitudes is something to be inspired by,” Nichols said.
“I volunteered to work with the snow cone cart and went from patient to patient making them snow cones, and getting to know some of the children there in the process. It was a rewarding experience.”
— Tohfe Beidas, supply chain and marketing senior
The Cougars for Kids program accommodates volunteers from different backgrounds by enabling them to select both a certain area they would like to be placed in and the type of volunteer work they will do.
“In the schools they are asked to mentor the children as a ‘big brother’ or ‘big sister’ role and will be placed according to volunteer work the school is looking for,” Nichols said.
“As far as the hospitals are concerned, they are able to pick from hundreds of volunteer opportunities within the hospital they are placed at; everything from working in the library to play rooms to craft carts, and they can find placement in the offices if they prefer administrative work.”
Cougars for Kids provides a helping hand in sectors of society where people who are passionate about helping others are needed.
“Most of them are glad to have us there. The hospitals really welcome volunteers because there is always something that needs to be done. They’re always kind to us and appreciate the help,” Nichols said.
Nichols said those that have committed to the program were able to have life-changing experiences, allowing them to realize where they wanted to work most.
Supply chain and marketing senior Tohfe Beidas worked with Cougar for Kids for two years. Beidas helped out at Texas Children’s Hospital.
“I volunteered to work with the snow cone cart and went from patient to patient making them snow cones, and getting to know some of the children there in the process. It was a rewarding experience,” Beidas said.
Cougars for Kids participates in the Step Out Walk for Diabetes annually as an extension of support for a cause outside the program’s realm of interest.