Local teen proves volunteering can be delicious

The benefits of serving one's community are many, said Hinsdale Hospital Foundation Junior Board President Maddie Molis, and some of them are delicious.

Molis and others on the 150-member board are looking forward to the 68th ice cream social event from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28. People of all ages from throughout the area are invited to Burlington Park in downtown Hinsdale for ice cream, a cake walk, games, an art project and a chance to support the work of the junior board and the hospital it serves.

"The whole thing is bringing the community together," and reminding them of the resource they have in their local hospital, Molis said.

An offshoot of the Hinsdale Hospital Foundation Board, the junior board was formed in 2004 to enlist the next generation in the mission to build good will and philanthropic support for AdventHealth Hinsdale Hospital. A member of several local non-profit organizations, Molis said she likes the role that faith and God play in the work of the hospital and the junior board.

The Hinsdale Central senior said she attended her first board meeting as a freshman.

"I've been hooked ever since," she said.

As president, Molis said she leads meetings, pitches in where needed and models leadership to the rest of the board's members. At the upcoming ice cream social, she expects to help to run games, answer questions, or shoulder other tasks that arise.

"I will be making people feel welcome," Molis said.

Another major event for the junior board is its annual blanket project.

Members put their creativity to work making fleece blankets for babies in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.

The board's work continues with a clinic planned for Oct. 8 at Lyons Township High School. Molis said people of all ages can access the clinic for dental care, vaccines, pediatric care, food and more.

"We're holding it for people who might need any type of medical help," she said.

A lifelong resident of Clarendon Hills, Molis also serves on the Clarendon Hills Chamber's Junior Board, as well as the junior board of the all-volunteer Mend a Heart Foundation, which works to enrich the lives of children born with congenital heart defects.

Molis said service to her community plays a big part in her life, even when she's far from home. When she and her family found themselves stranded in Florida after the initial COVID-19 breakout, it didn't take her long to find a local food bank in need of help.

"I spent the day just packaging food to be shipped out," Molis said.

Molis said she's proud not only of the impact that her work has on the community and the hospital, but of the impact that volunteer work has had on her own life.

"By helping others, you help yourself, too," she said.

- profile by Sandy Illian Bosch, photo by Jim Slonoff

Author Bio

Sandy Illian Bosch is a contributing writer to The Hinsdalean