Buena Vista Students Assist Pediatric Center
For three years now, students from Buena Vista Seventh-day Adventist School in Auburn have had the privilege of assisting at the annual Pediatric Interim Care Center luncheon at the ShoWare Center in Kent. This year seven students — Josie and Riley McKey, Landen Hubin, Sammy Moudy, Stephen Ellis, and Payton and Isaac Arnett — volunteered their time providing valuable assistance at the luncheon by setting tables for 760 guests, selling raffle tickets and assisting with registration of the luncheon attendees.
The Pediatric Interim Care Center (PICC) is a medical facility located in Kent that provides 24-hour care to newborns who have been prenatally exposed to drugs of all kinds. The center has provided care to more than 3,000 infants since it opened on Oct. 1, 1990.
Infants from all over the state of Washington are sent to PICC to receive specialized care to help them through the withdrawal period. On average, infants stay at PICC for 30 days before being discharged into the care of parents, relatives or foster parents. PICC provides training and education to caregivers as well as others in the community, helping to break misleading stereotypes often given to these children.
Eighth-grader Josie McKey first volunteered three years ago when the luncheon keynote speaker was Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, but she didn’t hesitate when asked to help last year and again this year. “I think it is really cool to help these unfortunate babies," she says. "It isn’t their choice what happened to them, so we are here to help in any way we can.”
This annual spring luncheon is vital to the organization. Funds raised at this one event help sustain PICC’s work in the community throughout the year because they receive very limited funding from the government. This year’s luncheon raised $127,306 for the babies.
Learning what their efforts mean to the welfare and healing of these precious babies touched the students’ lives. Seventh-grader Landen Hubin says, “I enjoyed volunteering because I realized that if this organization wasn’t helping these babies with their unfortunate addictions they have from birth, they would probably die or at least have very unhealthy lives. I am happy to help an organization like that.”
“Volunteering for the luncheon makes me feel happy because I get to help raise money for the babies," agrees Stephen Ellis. "I really enjoy selling raffle tickets and always hope that I sell the winning ticket. This was my second year volunteering, and I recognized a lot of people. It was fun to see them again."
This year’s keynote speaker was Steve Raible, former Seahawk player and current radio commentator for the Seahawk games. Many attendees are local politicians or other prominent business members, as well as many caring people.
Riley McKey says he is ready to help again next year, and it's obvious his fellow student volunteers agree. In addition, the students began brainstorming how they can do more for PICC throughout the year by collecting much-needed baby supplies the organization uses for these babies throughout the year. If you would like to be involved with Buena Vista students in supporting PICC, please contact the Buena Vista office manager, Donna Ellis, at 253-833-0718.