Jen Rubino, founder of "Cards for Hospitalized Kids" was named a distinguished finalist in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
The founder of "Cards for Hospitalized Kids" at Maine South High School was named one of Illinois' top volunteers of 2013 by Prudential. Jen Rubino, 18, is one of eight distinguished finalists in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a national program honoring middle level and high school students for outstanding volunteer service. Cards for Hospitalized Kids has sent more than 10,000 cards to kids in hospitals across the country. Rubino was inspired to start the charity after receiving a handmade card while she was hospitalized at age 11 for a chronic illness affecting her bones, muscles and connective tissues. "There was one specific hospital stay in which I was close to losing hope, but a kind gesture from a hospital volunteer …
Jen Rubino, 17, a high school senior, has braved two dozen surgeries so far. After one, a kind act inspired her to start a charity that has mushroomed, gained celebrity endorsements and helped children in unimaginable pain.
- VOLUNTEERS IN THE NEWS
- Pam DeFiglio
Sunday, November 25, 2012
As an 11-year-old with a chronic illness, Jen Rubino was having a dark day. She'd had her 13th surgery, and she was lying in a hospital bed, in pain. When she received a handmade greeting card saying "stay strong" from a volunteer she never met, she says it made a world of difference to know that others were pulling for her to make it--and it really did help her to stay strong. Now 17, Rubino, of Park Ridge, a senior at Maine South High School, has founded a charity to give other seriously ill kids that sense of hope and caring she says the card meant to her. Though Rubino struggles with chronic pain every day, she has managed, through Cards for Hospitalized Kids, to help 10,200 kids in hospitals in many states, helped by endorsements …