Elizabeth Fields volunteers because she genuinely cares about helping the people she works with and the organizations that they are a part of. When Elizabeth was five years old, she had her tonsils out at Children’s Medical Center. She remembers all of her family and friends coming to visit her to bring her lots of balloons. She was sad because the boy next door who was suffering from a more serious illness did not have any visitors, including his parents. She walked over to his room and gave him all of her balloons. This epitomizes the caring and giving nature that Elizabeth always displays. It was then she told her mother she wanted to help out at the hospital. When kids have their Bar or Bat Mitzvah, they usually get a lot of very nice presents. Elizabeth did not want anything except money to donate to help others. She raised over $2,000 for families at Children’s Medical Center who needed specialized car seats as well as baby formula for families who could not afford it. Elizabeth also raised over $3,000 for Golden Acres, a home for Jewish Seniors.
The summer after Elizabeth’s eighth grade year, she wanted to start volunteering at the CHAI (Community Homes for Adults) House, in which she works with mentally challenged people. This nonprofit organization tries to help its residents live an independent life in which they can reach their potential. Elizabeth has two older cousins who are both mentally challenged, and she felt this was a good way to indirectly connect with them. When she walked into the CHAI house for an interview, one of the residents named Charlie, who was very reserved and did not socialize with many people at all, without hesitation, gave Elizabeth a hug after she greeted him when she walked in. Immediately, she was told she could volunteer. Originally, she was only supposed to volunteer once every two weeks.
Last year, Elizabeth started a book club at the CHAI House that meets twice a month. Elizabeth has kept this book club running for over a year, and she plans for it to continue when she goes to college. She is very active with this organization, and yet she still finds time to tutor and mentor students from a poor school in south Dallas in a program called STAIRS.
STAIRS was formed to provide two services. First it was started to help provide tutoring sessions once a month for the middle school kids who attend St. Anthony’s. Second, it was to provide these kids exposure to the Dallas private schools, and to help encourage them to apply to these schools if interested. Elizabeth is one of the most active volunteers, and the kids really seem to connect with her. The group used to get two or three 8th graders from St. Anthony School to apply to Greenhill. This year all students in the 8th grade are applying and many want to apply because of the connection they have made with Elizabeth.