"It's my life, I live for it, it's who I am. I mean, helping others is the oxygen that runs through my - and all the others on this cruise - blood, it is what
keeps our hearts beating."
Tiki Nussbaum has a passion for helping others. She is just 25 years old, but since childhood has seen the value and good that can come from dedicating her time to her local community. She grew up in Edison, New Jersey, and, throughout her childhood, her parents always put a focus on helping others.
“It is a part of who we are, it is a part of our community and our religion.” said Tiki. “We were taught that helping others in one of the most important things a person can do in life.”
Each night after work, Tiki heads over to the local hospital, where she delivers a big smile, laughter, and hot meals to the sick and infirm. She finds out the patients’ interests and hobbies, and then incorporates those preferences into activities to elevate their moods.
Tiki spends her weekends helping those who are mentally disabled or visiting the elderly, and takes her two week vacation from work each year to volunteer at a camp for children with cancer and other chronic illnesses. When a new patient arrives at the local pediatric hospital, Tiki delivers a hand crafted, custom “welcome package” for the family, replete with useful items that they will need during their hospital stay. Additionally, Tiki does laundry for the pediatric rehabilitation patients whose parents find this task difficult to accomplish between their hospital visits and responsibilities at home.
“Volunteering brings out the best in a person,” says Tiki. “It fine tunes everything about a person. Selfishness and greed all go out the window. It makes people happy. The world would be a happier place if more people volunteered their time.”
When not volunteering, Tiki enjoys embarking on travel adventures that will “lead to a good story”, and seeking out a good shoe sale.