Homeless Health Initiative: Samantha Fitzhugh and Lateek Harrison's Story

Fitzhugh Harrison Image The couple that volunteers together, stays together. That could be the motto for Samantha Fitzhugh, BS, project coordinator for the Office of Enterprise Improvement and Effectiveness at CHOP, and her husband, Lateek Harrison.

Fitzhugh and Harrison were raised in families that valued being grateful and helping others, so volunteering comes naturally to them.

When Fitzhugh learned of the need for volunteers for functions sponsored by the Homeless Health Initiative, she began to help organize and participate in special events. She invited Harrison to join her.

It’s their family tradition to help out those in need at the holidays; in the past they have adopted a family to donate gifts and food. This year, they wanted to do something more. Through HHI, they learned of a homeless shelter in Boston, the Pine Street Inn.

So, in addition to coordinating and participating in the CHOP adopt-a-family initiative (for and with the Office of Enterprise Improvement and Effectiveness), they flew to Boston and purchased and wrapped gloves, socks, toothbrushes and other toiletries.

On Christmas Eve, they delivered 200 presents to the residents of Pine Street Inn. They were surprised by how many elderly women were residents and felt rewarded when they saw the residents light up when they realized Fitzhugh and Harrison were there to share with them.

They know they can’t help everyone, but their volunteering has shown them they can touch one life at a time.

Originally posted: May 2013