We’re celebrating National Healthcare Volunteer Week, and we want to take the opportunity to recognize the amazing support that volunteers provide to our patients, families, hospital staff and our community.
Meet Asiyah Ahmad, a student at The Wake STEM Early College High School and a WakeMed volunteer. Asiyah created The Birthday Project, a program that helps celebrate WakeMed patients’ birthdays or special occasions while in the hospital.
Bringing Joy to Patients
A trip to the hospital can be a difficult experience, especially for patients that may find themselves far from family, friends and the comforts of home on their special day.
In the summer of 2015, Asiyah’s grandmother was recovering from a stroke at WakeMed Raleigh Campus. While visiting her grandmother, Asiyah met an elderly patient in a nearby room, and it happened to be his birthday. Asiyah overheard the well wishes from the patient’s care team, but she wanted to do more. She was inspired to spread cheer to patients that may find themselves alone on their birthday – and help make their day a little brighter.
“I wanted to create a program to help make sure everyone can have a memorable birthday – especially if they are in the hospital,” said Asiyah.
Asiyah shared the idea with her brother, who had previously served as a WakeMed volunteer. He connected her with Jackie Kennedy, manager of Volunteer Services at WakeMed Raleigh Campus – and The Birthday Project was born.
Raising Funds to Raise Patients’ Spirits
In just the last year, Asiyah and a few of her Early College classmates have raised more than $1,000 for The Birthday Project. These funds are donated to hospital units and help make a patient’s birthday a little bit sweeter – whether it’s celebrating with a birthday cake or a birthday balloon or banner.
“It’s crazy to see my idea come to life,” Asiyah added. “It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Jackie Kennedy and WakeMed.”
This week, and always, we are incredibly proud of the many contributions that volunteers have made, and continue to make, at WakeMed. Please join us in celebrating them!