We are excited at Denver7 to begin our 19th year of weekly 7Everyday Hero stories.
The first outstanding volunteer of 2017 is helping kids heal with her kindness. Her names is Nicole Steiner. She's a local college freshman.
"It's really fun to donate to places like this where I know the kids really need some kind of distraction from some of their pain and just something fun to do," said Nicole Steiner.
Steiner started a project she calls A Game For You. She started it a couple years ago when she was in high school.
"It started because my mom was really sick when I was little and there weren't many things we could do to connect because even touching her caused her a lot of pain," said Steiner.
Steiner found that games and toys allowed her and her mom to stay connected when her mom wasn't feel well. And she wanted to share that positive experience. So, for the last couple years she has gathered donations of gently used or new toys and board games and delivered them to several area hospitals and agencies.
The Ronald McDonald House in Aurora is one of the lucky recipients. It can accommodate up to 45 patients who are away from home while they undergo medical treatments. Steiner's games and toys help the little patients pass the time.
"Instead of thinking about what they have to do next, what treatment, what pain that they're in. They kind of get to disconnect and be a regular child," said Elaine Senesac, Asst. House Manager, Ronald McDonald House, Aurora.
Steiner attends college out of state now, but when she is home her A Game For You project delights hundreds of children and their families. She says she has learned that no matter how busy you are, volunteering does the heart good.
"I think you have to get into it at first to see the value and it gets addictive seeing. Wow, look at the impact I can have on people. And it's more valuable than anything that you can check-off on a to do list," said Steiner.
Mitch Jelniker anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on 7NEWS. Follow Mitch on Facebook and Twitter. Nominate a 7Everyday Hero here.