Every month here at Playtime, we spend some time chatting over the most incredible things our volunteers have done that month, the ways they've gone above and beyond the call of duty, and who truly epitomizes the term "hero of play." Then, we pick a Volunteer of the Month for each of our programs. So, without further ado, let us introduce our Days Inn Volunteer of the Month!
Meet Bethany Anderson, our March 2020 Days Inn Volunteer of the Month!
Bethany Anderson first came to Playtime through her work as an ASL interpreter. During the 2018-2019 school year, she visited programs weekly, interpreting for two Playtime Project interns from Gallaudet University. Playtime stuck with her though, and in fall 2019, she decided to get back in the playroom, but this time as a volunteer Play Ranger. Playtime Program Associate Brieanna Iyomahan emphasized Bethany's flexibility, persistence, and compassion when she nominated Bethany as a Volunteer of the Month.
"She initiated being a one-on-one with a child who needed more direct and stimulating activities during Playtime," Brieanna said. "During this time she has really been flexible, understanding, and committed to building a bond with him and positively redirecting his high energy into productive activities like yoga, Lego set building, and other games."
Keep reading for a Q&A with Bethany.
Playtime is near and dear to my heart. I am thrilled to be a member of this team and do everything I can for the children we play with!
-Playtime Project Volunteer of the Month Bethany Anderson
When and why did you start volunteering with Playtime?
Fall of 2019.
How has volunteering with Playtime affected you?
Seeing children smile and knowing you are bringing a little joy and fun to their evening is extremely rewarding. We work with a vulnerable population knowing that you are making their day a little brighter means a lot. Playing with them makes me feel young again.
Can you share a memorable moment you've had as a Play Ranger?
There are so many moments. Gift giving during the holidays and how the community comes together to support Playtime is inspiring. At Day's Inn we have an art teacher who comes weekly to work with the children. Seeing the pride on their face after making their project is touching.
What else do you want people to know about your work with Playtime?
Giving a little time can bring great joy to you and others. Playtime is a lot of fun.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
I would love to be able to fly. Being able to be alone and soar through the air would be magical.