Operations Manager Kristine Sports, 841st Transportation Battalion, volunteers with the Newborns in Need Charleston Chapter and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Her volunteer role is to spend two hours or longer holding and rocking one baby for one evening each week.
"We sing to them and talk to them without prodding or poking with medical instruments, "Sports said, "It’s very peaceful for a child who is in intensive care to fall asleep in your arms."
The Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital has an average of 900 NICU patients a year and it is one of the largest Regional Perinatal Centers in South Carolina. Volunteers are required to interview for the positions, attend an orientation and be vaccinated in order to work with the critically ill patients. They must also commit for the same slot every week for a year, but the hospital is flexible if you have to make changes, according to Sports.
Sports said she enjoys helping local families and working with the hospital staff.
"The nurses are very appreciative when they see volunteers coming down the hallways," Sports said.
"So many babies' families cannot be present round the clock as they have other children, they have to work, and they live out of town," Sports added.
In addition to working with the infants in the hospital, she is involved in the local chapter of the Newborns in Need organization, where she attends meetings and manages an inventory of donated items, like homemade afghans and blankets, hats, clothing and toiletries. Sports also handles the Chapter’s monthly accountability reports and runs the Newborns in Need Charleston Chapter’s Facebook page. Rapid Support!
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