Exceptional Commitment and Dedication Award
What inspired you to volunteer with LuskinOIC?
Gussie Edmondson has been volunteering with LuskinOIC for the last 26 years, dedicating her life to transforming the lives of every child, parent, doctor, and nurse she has interacted with. For Gussie, nothing is more rewarding than making a change, no matter how small. She recounts that “the little patients were in their hospital beds, and they would almost always be crying. I would come after work and help by giving the children their food trays. I’d feed them, talk to them, sing to them – do whatever it took – to make them happy, and, of course, I’d be helping the nurses, too”. Helping in whatever capacity she is able to, Gussie’s unmatched empathy and commitment have truly transformed LuskinOIC, making the lives of every heart she touches a bit bigger and brighter.
Most memorable moments while volunteering?
Whether it’s showing up to the same shift every Monday at the Cleft Palette clinic or sitting in the rain, drenched in water, at the Rose Parade, Gussie says that every moment at LuskinOIC is valuable. For someone as selfless as her, she believes that it is not what you do, but who you meet, that makes the moment magical.
Why do you think LuskinOIC’s work is so vital to the community?
As a former elementary school teacher, Gussie knows the importance of allowing kids to “Grow Well, and Play Well.” She understands the essential role of nurturing not only the physical health and well-being of children but also their innocence and joy. Gussie recognizes that creating a safe and welcoming environment where children feel heard, understood, and supported is crucial. By prioritizing empathy and personalized care, she believes that LuskinOIC is making a positive impact on the lives of children in the community, much like how she did during her time as a teacher.