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The Mirror

The student website of Van Nuys High School
Van Nuys, California
The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

Touching the hearts of cancer patients one card at a time

The Golden Hearts club allows its members to earn volunteer hours for making cards to bring a smile to cancer patients at Kaiser Permanente.
President Sharlene Kaur looks over all cards made by the Golden Hearts club before giving them to Kaiser Permanente.

A smile spread across her face as she drew the finishing touches on her card. 

Junior Sharlene Kaur had just spent the last thirty minutes creating a heartfelt card for a cancer patient at Kaiser Permanente Hospital. Her heart filled with warmth knowing that her card would help to make someone’s day better. 

“Cards help boost the moods of cancer patients and let them know that they are not alone,” Kaur said.

She has created a whole club dedicated to making special cards for patients in the oncology department at Kaiser, and it has been up and running since the fall semester of 2023.

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The Golden Hearts Club meets every Wednesday in room 323 and members spend their lunchtime crafting cards patients of all ages would enjoy receiving. 

Members of the club gather together every wednesday to create cards for patients. (THE MIRROR | IVAN ALCALA)

Besides being cheerful and entertaining, the cards have to meet certain requirements laid out by the hospital.

“There are specific guidelines that we have to follow and as of now, we are still establishing them with Kaiser,” Kaur said. “For example, we can’t sign our name or say things that would give patients false hope.”

Once the cards are ready, Kaur works with a volunteer at Kaiser to deliver them to patients.

She came up with the idea for this club when scrolling through social media and seeing how multiple high school students had created similar organizations within their community.

“I had seen on TikTok other schools having clubs like Golden Hearts where people get volunteer hours for helping patients in hospitals, and I was inspired to bring this to our school as well,” she explained. 

On top of seeing examples on social media, Kaur herself had been making cards for cancer patients since 2020.

“There was this online organization, Hearts for a Cause, that allowed you to make digital cards and then give them to cancer patients around the world,” she said. “I did that for fun during the pandemic. I really want to enter the medical field in the future, and these cards are a great way for me to express my interest in that field.” 

For Kaur, making these cards has always been about having fun and uplifting sickly patients. However, she recognizes that some people only join her club in order to gain easy volunteer hours. 

“Personally, I didn’t create this club for the volunteer hours, but when we did club rush and told people about doing the cards for fun I realized most people don’t want to spend their lunchtime doing something if they are not getting anything out of it,” she said.

These are not the types of students he Golden Hearts Club is trying to attract. Kaur wants the club to be filled with people who choose to make cards out of the goodness of their hearts. 

“I hope everyone who is making these cards is having a good time and actually wants to do it and is not just doing it for the volunteer hours,” she shared. “I want them to take their time and put their heart into making them.”

She and her club board make sure to inform their members on the various types of cancer their card recipients are dealing with.

“The club board makes the slides, using reliable sources such as Mayo Clinic, to share general information about cancer” she said. “We link the sources we use as well so people can have access to them.”

The slides describe how cancer starts, the symptoms, the stages and possible treatments. These slides inform club members and allow them to sympathize with patients and their situations.

The Golden Hearts’ board members prepare informative slides to teach members of the club about different types of cancer.

“Showing what these cancer patients are going through makes others feel for them and be able to better connect to the people they are making cards for,” she said.

The cards the club makes are meant to show patients that others understand what they are going through, making it all the more important that students are properly informed on the effects of cancer.

“I feel putting a lot of effort into the cards for patients and informing ourselves on their condition is important,” Kaur said. “It shows them that people are aware of their situation and are there for them.”

Patients appreciate knowing that someone is aware of their situation and took the time to create something special for them.

“I do believe patients enjoy receiving the cards,” Kaur said. “I am not allowed to go into the oncology department and see their reactions due to state regulations, but I am positive they appreciate it. The hospital continues to ask the club for more.”

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About the Contributor
Mia Ramirez
Mia Ramirez, Staff
I never thought that one day I would sit and write news stories all the time. When I was little the only thing I liked to write about was fairytales and popstars. Now that I am older the focus of my stories have shifted. As a staff writer for The Mirror, I write stories that focus on real people and what they have to say.  I have written multiple stories for the paper and I continue to search for new stories wherever I go. Outside of journalism, I am the captain for Van Nuys’ cross Country team and am constantly looking for new ways to make people smile.
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