Q: Youth groups go all the time (especially before holidays) to nursing homes to sing or perform before the residents. How is LHSVS different?
A: LHSVS is designed for teens and (very mature) tweens who are interested in learning to relate (on an on-going basis) with, not just healthcare patients, but people who do not always have as much contact with others as they wish.
Q: I notice that the founder & director of LHSVS is a Rabbi. Do you have to be Jewish to participate? (youth & residents, nearby churches & synagogues, universal deed)
A: Absolutely not. Youth, healthcare patients and Celebrity Sports Stars of all faiths participate in this non-sectarian, non-religious program. Visiting the Sick is a universal deed shared by all. As is common in healthcare facilities, chaplains are trained to interact with patients and families of all faiths.
Q: Do you need to be a sports fan to volunteer for LHSVS?
A: No. While being a sports fan, is a plus, many of LHSVS youth volunteers and healthcare patients are neither sports fans nor athletes. The stories shared by our Celebrity Sports Stars are inspirational and appreciated by all.
Q: While LHSVS sounds rewarding intrinsically, what practical benefits are there for the youth who volunteer?
A: Volunteer hours through LHSVS qualify for service requirements (National Honor Society, etc.) for all students who have applied from their schools. For students who are exploring the possibility of a career in any of the healthcare professions (e.g., medicine, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, physician assistant) LHSVS is a fertile learning opportunity. Many LHSVS alumni have included on their college applications/resumes their LHSVS experiences as colleges look favorably upon such extra-curricular activities.
Q: Is there a minimal number of Visiting Sessions that you must attend each year?
A: Realizing the many demands upon our teens, there is no minimum number of Visiting Sessions. However, the more one is able to volunteer, the more s/he will gain from the LHSVS experience.
Q: What happens if you miss the training session?
A: While the training session is extremely valuable, if a well-intended youth cannot attend, we make sure that s/he is brought up to speed.
Q: Who are the LHSVS Celebrity Sports Stars?
A: Although some of our LHSVS Celebrity Sports Stars (CSSs) are well-known by “all” sports fans, all of our CSSs have valuable lessons and inspiring stories to share from their participation in the world of sports. Please visit our Photo Gallery on this website to see which Celebrity Sports Stars have inspired our LHSVS Youth Volunteers & healthcare patients over the years.
Q: Who are the LHSVS Youth Volunteers?
A: Since the founding of LHSVS in 2007 more than 350 youth have volunteered. These youth have been recruited from high schools (public & private) in the greater-Chicagoland area, religious (church & synagogue) youth groups, and Scouts. The best source for “recruitment” is by word-of-mouth, from one happy & satisfied volunteer to the next. Youth with physical or educational challenges are warmly encouraged to participate.
Q: How does a youth register to be an LHSVS volunteer?
A: Because of the generosity of many sponsors (individuals & businesses), there is no fee to enroll. In addition to exemplary, mature behavior, each youth volunteer must complete the Registration Form on this website and either hand in a completed Parent Form on their first visit or forward it via email (Info@TeamSpiritInstitute.org) or fax (847-963-2839) prior to the the youth-volunteer’s first session. This form can be downloaded from the “Forms” tab on this website. To hear the impressions that the LHSVS experience has made upon our youth volunteers (as well as parents, healthcare patients & Celebrity Sports Stars), please see the Testimonials posted on this website.
Q: What are some new additions to LHSVS?
A: In recent years we have added an additional training program focused on such topics as interviewing (patients) skills and the art of storytelling. We have also devoted a visiting session in which we join with our Celebrity Sports Stars, the Claremont residents, in playing the very popular sport of BINGO.
This year, LHSVS plans to add visiting sessions that will included viewing a professional sports event (on television) and viewing a sports-themed movie with a discussion.