SEM in the City: Volunteering for the Children’s Hospital Move

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In just a few weeks, the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo will be relocated and renamed to The John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital,

A group of freshmen at the new hospital

on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The hospital workers, construction crew, and volunteers are going to be hard at work in the upcoming weeks, preparing for the official opening on November 10.

Across a span of two days, SEM students went to the new hospital to help with the move. On Friday, October 20 the senior class spent the day at the hospital, and on Monday, October 23 the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors went. Although given different tasks, everyone contributed in a significant way. Whether it was stuffing goodie bags or stocking shelves, SEM made an important difference in the moving process – good for the hospital and good for SEM students.

“It was a really cool experience. It’s normally something we wouldn’t do,” said Jackie Schanzlin ’18. Senior Cara DeRose said it felt important to be there. She described stocking crash carts for emergencies and knowing that it mattered, that they had to pay attention because they were the last people to make sure the carts had everything they needed to save lives.

The seniors were split up into different groups and were put to work after they watched a presentation regarding details on the new hospital. Some girls got the opportunity to explore the hospital while others stocked patient rooms. Girls who had the chance to explore the hospital described it as feeling weird because normally it wouldn’t be empty.

For four hours, seniors stocked shelves and crash carts. Because of SEM’s help, 12 floors of patients rooms are now stocked and full. “It was an amazing opportunity and I enjoyed being able to help in the community, the hospital, and the children even if it was something so small,” said Aileen Cotter ’18.

SEM, along with St. Joe’s, were the only two schools chosen to help with the moving process. “The fact that we were chosen was a good feeling and I was thankful for the opportunity,” said Jackie.

A group of sophomores showing of their pumpkins.

On Monday, the underclassmen worked together to stuff about 3,600 goodie bags. “It was nice to see the renovations and good to see how the kids are going to be moved to a more modern hospital,” said Nicole Nobrega ’19.

Although the girls weren’t as active throughout the hospital as the seniors were, they’re making a difference for future patients. “It felt good to help out because you know you’re making a difference,” said Jenna Pantano ’20. The girls were rewarded for their hard work back at school with an afternoon of pumpkin carving and bobbing for apples in the Magavern-Sutton Courtyard.

“It feels that SEM is a big part of the community. That they would choose us makes me feel honored and proud,” said Assistant Head of School Natalie Stothart. SEM is extremely proud of making such a big difference in the community and having this wonderful opportunity. “Seeing what we did Friday and Monday and how the whole group came together to complete such a big task is breath-taking.”