May 2, 2020 – Update

I haven’t posted in a while so I figured I’d make an update.

Normally, other than working at the pediatrician’s office, I also routinely teach younger kids at my temple how to make balloon animals. I’d normally teach them a new animal each week because this ensured that I, myself, was learning new things to show them. Eventually, we’d sell the animals at carnivals to raise money for the temple and various charitable causes, but of course we cannot do that now.

As a replacement, I’m trying to set-up virtual sessions with my team to keep in touch with balloon art. I also want to see if anyone would be willing to accept large bags of balloon animals for parties or small events they might have once quarantine is not mandatory. Of course participating at events in person will still be risky.

March 1, 2020 – CHC

Little did I know that this would be the last time I make balloons here before COVID-19. These past few weeks have been a lot of fun at CHC. Many kids have been coming in and I was able to give out some business cards as well! I left many balloons on the countertop near the main desks this time. This way, the nurses could give them to the kids immediately after their shots or if they were crying. One kid specifically asked for a balloon T-Rex, which I didn’t know how to make so I had to improvise to create it for him!

I am happy that this past year working with CHC has been rewarding and I definitely intend to continue when its safe again!

December 9, 2019 – CHC

I want to check-in since it has been a while since my last post, but I have been coming and making balloons for kids here at the Children’s Health Center every week. I have been making various balloons for the patients from flower bracelets to blasters. While sitting in the office, I am getting exposure to the way a medical office operates which is fascinating. I have also been given the opportunity to watch as nurses check patients when they come in and I have gone inside patient rooms a few times. This experience was definitely both fun and interesting as I got to see more than just the scheduling and computer-work; I could see the nurses take vitals of the patients etc.

So far, ballooning here has been a good experience and I hope it continues and I learn a lot more that I didn’t think I would.

November 5, 2019 – CHC

This was probably the busiest day so far at the pediatric center. When I say busiest, I mean busiest for me as the balloon maker. Although the number of patients was not very high, all the patients were the perfect age for balloons and showed a lot of excitement.

As soon as I entered, two kids came out and immediately asked for balloons. Not more than five minutes later, another family with three kids finished their appointment and they all wanted balloons. That, itself, was a great start to the time I’d be there. One four year old was crying and screaming after her vaccine – it was very loud. I felt super happy after giving her a flower bracelet because almost immediately, she stopped crying.

The children came out of their appointments in waves. Suddenly, 3 rooms would open up and kids would want balloons. This is why I had to premake balloons many times. Kids could grab them and go. (I’ve been going twice a week and hope for this to continue. ) Ultimately, I learned a lot from this experience and can say that everyone loved the balloons.

October 14, 2019 – CHC

This visit was quite fun as it was busy with school being off. I have been going to the center quite often, but have not been posting every visit.

However, this Monday was a fun experience as I made various balloons and enthusiastic patients were eager to take the balloons home. One patient had actually expressed interest as she walked into a room before her appointment was over. I decided to make a large star balloon for her when finished. However, upon receipt of the balloon, it popped. I had finished my time and was about to leave. I had a few other balloons there so she took one of those as I fixed the balloon star. I realized that you have to be patient with kids as they’ll grow attached to something really quickly so when something goes wrong, you need to be able to make them happy again. This taught me a lesson in a way and I am happy that I was able to volunteer this Monday and help some sick kids out.

September 27, 2019 – CHC (Visit 4)

Enjoyable time here on Friday. Not very busy so I didn’t need to make many balloons. However, because of this, I spent more time on the few balloons I did make and made sure they were elaborate and fun. Here is a pic of two of the balloons I made.

Flower and Star-Wand

I made big balloons for the children of one PA and one nurse at the center. Two kids who came in had said that they wanted balloons before they were even seen by the doctor, so I made them really good-looking balloons (because I knew they were interested).

September 23, 2019 – CHC (Visit 3)

This visit was a lot of fun and amusing as shown through the following experience.

Two kids, twins, came in as I was sitting down making some balloons. They seemed to be at the office for a yearly checkup as they were getting their heights and weights checked. They were super curious asking about what the machines did and how to use them. Inside their room, a nurse was showing the kids how to take blood pressure which was really cool! However, they’re curiosity and enthusiasm did not last forever. Like most other kids, they started getting extremely upset and crying about the vaccines they were getting. I felt so bad as I could only listen, but I knew they would appreciate the balloons when it was over so I just waited.

And of course, they loved the balloons. The first twin came out crying and grabbed all 5 balloons that were on the counter. He went back in and I laughed in amusement that he fit so many balloons in his hands. When the second twin came out, he took some of his brother’s balloons and grabbed the 2 new ones I had made (for him). It was an amusing sight to see as they quickly stopped crying after their shots and after they received plenty of balloons. This event during my visit this week really made me feel good about what I’m doing; at times, it can feel awkward.

This was the best visit yet to CHC!

September 16, 2019 – CHC (Visit 2)

This will be a short little post just to record my time here at the Children’s Health Center. It was a busy day as always in the building. In specific, one kid was quite ill and feeling quite bad, so a nurse quickly gave him a balloon. Though I never got to see the patient, I knew the little kid was happier with his balloon. For next week, I will try and make more extravagant looking balloons. There is not much display space, so I lean towards small balloons, but the big ones will amaze kids-and, of course, that’s the goal.

September 14, 2019 – Baptism Party

This was quite an interesting experience. The party was in a formal dining hall and I(the balloon stall) was the only entertainment, besides music. As usual, there was a slow start as I made balloons and kids did not know to come get balloons. But that was normal. I knew from the beginning that this event would be successful because all the kids were eyeing the balloons meaning they would eventually ask and ask for more. Some kid songs were playing next to my table attracting all the kids. They received flower bracelets, battle axes, master swords, and many different animals. It was a lot of fun and I know the kids loved it!

September 9, 2019 – Children’s Health Center

Here I got to experience how workplace functions first hand as I sat at the main desk with nurses and doctors in the office. (This pediatric health care office was quite big.) This opportunity that I’ve set-up will be a weekly thing. I will post blogs from time to time about this. Just as I teach kids at my temple weekly, this also will be one extra ballooning experience which will allow me to deal with kids and gain exposure to the work world.

The location is The Children’s Health Center right off of NJ-35.

At first, I felt awkward making balloons in front of professionals who were doing their very serious job. However, I think I’ve adapted to this and I realized that they are all welcoming – except when a balloon pops. Just kidding!

So far, I’ve just been making simple balloons for the experience and giving either a flower bracelet, dog, tiger, or sword to patients. This is simply because it is a grab-and-go style. It has been working out and people have been appreciative. I might change the style and make more grandiose balloons as I do during parties, however, the grab-and-go style is much better because every now and then, a nurse will be running out of a room to grab a balloon for a crying kid. It works well when kids are receiving vaccines etc.

I am truly excited for weeks to come as this will add to my experience and give back to kids at the doctor’s office. And we all know – most kids don’t want to be at the doctor’s office. So again, hopefully, balloons will put smiles on some faces.