For the past year, 14-year-old Tanya Mehta has been a regular volunteer at St. Luke’s Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The dedicated high school sophomore is passionate about volunteering, serving others, and is a strong believer in community service. The High Honor Roll student has accumulated over 150 volunteer hours at St. Luke’s Hospital while volunteering with other organizations throughout her community as well.
At St. Luke’s Hospital, Tanya’s volunteer duties vary from day to day. Some days she can be found helping discharge patients, restocking supplies, or putting together charts and packets. Other days Tanya’s duties may include transporting various items to different locations within the hospital, greeting patients and visitors, and providing patient information.
Tanya is also a member of the Hindu Temple Society Youth Association, where she has led various initiatives and helped with fundraising events. Tanya is committed to making a difference in her community and is today’s Daily Point of Light Award honoree. Points of Light spoke with Tanya about her commitment to service.
What inspires you to volunteer?
Putting a smile on someone’s face can make that person’s day. It’s just the small things in life that makes things better and inspire me every day. Through example and upbringing, my family has instilled in me the importance of helping others and giving back to the community.
Describe your volunteer role.
I am a Junior Volunteer at St. Luke’s Hospital, Allentown PA. I volunteer every week at the hospital for few hours. Caring and delivering acts of kindness is my duty. Whether it is labeling charts, greeting patients, making beds, giving them a warm blanket or discharging patients, I do whatever the nursing or administrative staff needs to make patients and their families feel informed and comfortable. Other times I’m connecting them with another person, or just simply listening when someone needs to talk.
What has been the most rewarding part of your work?
Volunteering at St. Luke’s Hospital has become the best part of my week. I look forward to making a difference, no matter how small of a contribution it is. I’ve learned so much about the medical field from different departments, but the most essential part of my experience has been to appreciate and practice medical professionalism. It has allowed me to meet physicians, nurses, and other medical staff who gave me more information about working in the medical field. This type of exposure is hard to find, especially for a High School student and I am truly thankful to all the volunteer coordinators for making this program possible!!!
What have you learned through your experiences as a volunteer?
Volunteering in all shapes and forms strengthens our communities, brings people together and provides us with valuable experiences and insights. The chance to volunteer changes everything in one’s life and it has given me the opportunity to make better life choices, and selfishly, when I give my time and energy to others, I just feel better — about myself and my community.
Are there any future partnerships, programs, or events that you are excited about?
I am excited to continue my volunteer role at St. Luke’s Hospital. I’d like to do more befriending – which means sitting with and speaking to patients and elderly people who are without visitors. I am also looking forward to volunteering for American Cancer Society and Alzheimer’s Association this coming year. I also mentor middle school students and volunteer for local Youth associations.
Why do you think it’s important for others to give back?
In our lifetime, we get help from so many folks and take advantage of all the great opportunities they have created in sports, music, and education. Everyone is obligated to contribute to continuous enrichment of society. Deep down inside, we all want to feel that we have given back to the society that has nurtured our growth and can help others. This sense of commitment to others through voluntary efforts gives meaning and purpose in our lives.
What do you want people to learn from your story?
As busy as life can be, it can seem hard to find the time to volunteer. I would recommend volunteering to anyone with an interest in making a difference. Your emotional awareness increases, your care and consideration for others is awakened and you are exposed to new and different people. It will help you grow as a person and provide great happiness & fulfillment.
Do you want to make a difference in your community like Tanya Mehta? Visit All for Good for local volunteer opportunities.