A caring clown is someone willing to bring joy and happiness into the lives of others.
Also known as a therapeutic clown, caring clowns volunteer in a hospital or nursing home setting to help bring good humour, laughter and feelings of wellness to those who are unwell, or who may be recuperating from surgery or other medical treatments.
“Therapeutic clowns are trained to deal with the hospital and nursing home environment in a very specific manner,” said Doris Bensmiller (AKA Bubbles), with the Kalamalka Caring Klowns. “They learn about the psychology of humour, the benefits of laughter, they are taught listening skills and how to help someone have a smile who may not feel like smiling.
“They are taught about diversity issues and how to be inclusive of all the people they may meet in their journey as a therapy clown.”
She said therapeutic clowns are specially trained caring and compassionate human beings who give away their heartfelt love.
“Therapeutic clowns educate the community regarding the benefits of laughter, and foster community spirit through organized related community functions,” said Bensmiller. “Most important he or she is someone of compassion and sensitivity.
“A caring clown has a gentle soul and cares deeply about humanity. They want to make someone feel cheerier and less lonely.”
Since 1999, the Kalamalka Caring Klowns have been sharing laughter and providing comfort throughout the North Okanagan.
The non-profit group will hold their fall workshop Nov. 5 and 6. If you feel you would like to join this organization, please call Bubbles at 250-546-6396 or Rainbow at 250-558-3576.
“This workshop is very beneficial to those who have lost a loved one and are looking for a way to laugh and play again,” said Bensmiller. “Clowning is a venue for giving and receiving, all at the same time. It is very rewarding.”