Junior Gillian Wolf (dressed as Anna from “Frozen,” middle) organized a trip to Shriners’ in Portland to sing songs to children. Joining here were fellow juniors Aleeyah Enriquez (dressed as Ariel from “The Little Mermaid,” left) and Freya Chase (dressed as Elsa from “Frozen,” right).
As of Friday, May 18, 2018
Each junior at Hood River Valley High School has to complete an extended application (EA) project in order to graduate. For my EA project, I decided to sing at children’s hospitals in Portland. My idea was to take some girls from my choir and dress up as princesses to sing Disney songs for the children. I chose this project because I love to sing and I wanted to bring joy to kids who were suffering. I also thought it would be a good opportunity for the other girls who sang with me to get out of their comfort zones and build their confidence when it came to singing solos.
After speaking with several hospitals in Portland, Shriners’ Hospital agreed to help me out with my project. This was exciting for me since my grandfather has been a Shriner for several decades.
I visited Shriners’ with Aleeyah Enriquez and Freya Chase, who are also juniors at HRVHS. I dressed as Anna from “Frozen,” Chase dressed as Elsa from “Frozen,” and Enriquez dressed as Ariel from “The Little Mermaid.”
When we arrived at Shriners’ on April 28, we met with Kathy Krueger Park, who is director of development, and she escorted us to the lobby. We performed for two children there, and then went to individual patient rooms. Afterwards, we walked across the street to Doernbecher to sing to any children who were waiting in the lobby. We gave each kid a card with Disney princesses on it and a special message from each of us.
Doing this project was a great experience for me. I loved seeing how the children’s faces lit up when they saw us. It was great to see how much this affected the kids and brought joy to them during their time of suffering. This project also helped me realize the importance of giving back to my community and that any little thing can help someone who is suffering.
“The project was so heartwarming and such an amazing idea,” said Enriquez. “The fact that I can bring a smile to a child’s face who experiences such difficult issues and pushes through them every day made me feel so special.”
“Going into it, I thought it was going to make a lot of kids’ days, but coming out of it I knew that I got way more from it than them,” said Chase. “It was bright and inspiring to do something to bring more love to a dark situation. I’m so touched by those kids. I loved doing it and I hope to do more for people in situations similar to those kids.”
I would like to thank Shriners’ hospital for enabling me to meet and bring joy to their patients. They created a great environment for all of us and were so welcoming.
Gillian Wolf is a junior at Hood River Valley High School.