El Paso High junior Melody Stout and her StuCo peers created a video message of hope with virtual visitors to share with patients at Children’s Hospital where visitors currently aren’t allowed.
“Being a child in the hospital is hard enough so when you can’t have your family around or your friends to come to visit you, that’s just an unimaginable feeling,” said Melody Stout. “Kids can sometimes feel alone already so actually being told that your mom or your dad can’t stay with you is really scary.”
Melody’s mom, Cindy Stout, is the president and CEO of Children’s Hospital. She had shared with her daughter news of the COVID-19 precautionary measures prohibiting visitors from spending time with their loved ones during their hospital stay.
“I just wanted patients to know that even if their family or friends couldn’t physically be there, they have an entire team of student councils behind them who are willing to reach out to them and just give them a message of hope in a time that seems really hopeless,” Melody said. “Our message is that they have a bigger support system than they think they do.”
Cindy Stout was especially pleased that her daughter took on this heartwarming-project to spread cheer to those children unwittingly affected by the new hospital procedure.
“I am especially proud of my daughter for championing this project and encouraging her fellow classmates to create this special message,” Cindy Stout said. “El Paso has always been a place that is known for sharing love, and it truly warms my heart to see the youth of El Paso being so involved and wanting to make the world just that much better.”
The video includes clips of well wishes, artwork, cards and other messages of hope by students from El Paso, Chapin, Irvin, Austin, Jefferson and Coronado. The project grew and evolved as more students learned about it. The hospital will include the video in its social media Monday Miracle Posts for the children and families to see.
“Just including more people always makes the project bigger and the bigger the project the more people you can touch and the bigger impact you can make,” Melody said. “That’s the important part because when one person does something it brings them joy, but that Joy can be shared with so many other people.”
Chapin’s Justin Zamora jumped at the chance to participate in the project.
“I wanted to participate because I knew that any little help I could do, would go a long way,” he said. “This pandemic is new and it is scary for most. The uncertainty of what can happen is what scares me. I wanted to bring hope or a piece of joy to someone who was going through this tough time. I hope that if they do feel alone, they can reach out to me through Instagram or through my number and we could talk about whatever.”
Melody hopes that the video inspires students to continue their community service and outreach programs despite the stay at home orders.
“Even if we’re in lockdown there’s so much joy that we can spread throughout the community,” she said. “Being separated does not mean we’re alone, and we can show that in so many different ways.”
Story by Reneé De Santos – EPISD