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.

August 17, 2019 – LightBridge Pre-School Academy Grand Opening

This was a 4-hour experience which I absolutely loved. As it was a grand opening, kids would come into the room every now and then and play with all the toys and crafts available. I met kids and had conversations with them to keep them busy as their parents were exploring the preschool. Again, I noticed the “herd” behavior as many families would come in at once and then nobody would come in for the next 10 minutes. However, I liked this “traffic pattern” as it gave me time to decorate and make the balloon section so much better.

Everyone got balloons of their favorite colors and received whatever they wanted. I used the menu for this event, which helped make it easier for kids to decide what they wanted. I would say the most popular balloon for this event was the master sword (in the picture) and the tiger.

August 10, 2019 – Birthday Party

Ready to make balloons for the party!

Another great experience – all the kids were excited and asked for so many balloons at a time. To begin, I prepared a special hat for the birthday boy before he and his friends entered the room. They had been swimming and it was apparently a surprise that I would be making balloons for them.

In just one hour, I exhausted nearly 2 full packs of balloons which is crazy! The age was around 6 years old and the most popular balloons were the “master sword” and flower bracelet. It’s really interesting how when the first person gets something cool, it is exactly what everyone wants: no matter how cool the other balloons may be. I am happy with how the party went as the kids all left extremely happy and we had very few pops.

By the end, the birthday boy did not have anything special yet so I gave him a battle-axe and made sure he ran away feeling happy. Hopefully, this experience will give me more business in the future.