WKLB-FM’s Lori Grande Enjoys Volunteering for Cuddle Program

May 27, 2013

By Stella Morrison

Country 102.5 WKLB-FM, Boston, isn’t just a voice in the community — its staff is committed to giving back to the community as well.

The station has a strong relationship with the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center of Boston. Country 102.5 FM raises money for the hospital through concerts, and also arranges for country artists to tour the hospital and play for patients.

Even with such a high level of involvement, some staff members continue to give more of themselves to the children there. Lori Grande, co-host of the JW and Lori Morning Show, visits the medical center every week to hold the babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, under the care of the hospital’s Division of Newborn Medicine.

“All the staff had the opportunity to tour the facility, and we were taken into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU),” Grande said. “I got to meet the wonderful nurses and saw the tiny little babies they were taking care of. I thought about how I would love to be able to help out these very tiny, beautiful babies.”

One of the nurses told Grande about the NICU’s Cuddle Program, where volunteers spend time providing human contact for the infants there for treatment.

“A newborn baby’s parents can’t always be there; either they have to work or take care of other children at home,” Grande said. “That’s where I come in. A nurse who needs me will place a precious little life in my arms, and my job is to calm and cuddle that baby. I work to make them feel safe, loved and protected.”

If there are no babies awake or ready to be held, Grande will help out in the neonatal unit however she’s needed.

“Some days, there are no babies to hold,” Grande said. “They are either sleeping, or some may be too small or too sick to be held. Those are the days [that] I will do laundry and whatever else I can to help out.”

Grande said that she has talked about her volunteering on-air numerous times to inspire listeners to get involved.

“I’ve talked about my volunteer work at the hospital and the lovely nurses there on-air during my morning show,” Grande said. “Hopefully, I’ll inspire others to volunteer there as well.”

The best part of the experience, Grande said, is the takeaway she has each time she goes to hold the babies.

“I really think I am the one who gets the most out of it,” Grande said. “It’s such a peaceful feeling [to have] a lovely little baby calmly looking up at you.”