Tiffany Saulsberry-Harvey has been a nurse since 2005. The Lansing resident has been at La Rabida Children's Hospital in Chicago since July 2007.
But she's known what she wanted to do in life since she was a kid.
Her sister tore a ligament in her knee when they were children and had to be taken to the hospital.
"I tagged along for almost every doctor’s appointment and the nurses and doctors took such wonderful care of her," Saulsberry-Harvey said. "I always said one day I want to have that same affect on people. I’ve always wanted to care, heal, educate and inspire people through my work."
That spirit extends beyond work, though. Saulsberry-Harvey has developed a reputation for giving.
She's organized a hat, glove and coat drive at La Rabida each of the last two years to benefit a local shelter. Saulsberry-Harvey and her family donated Easter baskets, which she put together herself, to the children at La Rabida last spring. She traveled to Atlanta for the Hosea Williams Foundation's Labor of Love event to help box and deliver food to the hungry and homeless.
Saulsberry-Harvey is the co-founder of a nonprofit called Sophisticated Socialites Inc., a team of women who organize local charity events. The group has given away school supplies, held a drive to buy dresses for 100 teenage girls and held an anti-gang seminar for young boys.
"I try to pay it forward every chance I get. It does so much for my soul and spirit to give what I have to make others happy," she said. "I grew up on the South Side of Chicago and my family struggled to make ends meet, so I know what it feels like to need a helping hand."
Saulsberry-Harvey organized 50 nurses for her most recent charitable project, which she titled "Giving Back Because We Care." The group purchased a sensory table, which is filled with colored pebbles or sand and water for kids to play, feel different textures and experience the sights and sounds as part of their treatment.
"(Co-worker Veida Holdman and I) wanted to bring unity to our unit by giving the children we care for everyday something that they can learn and grow from that would stay around the hospital for years to come," Saulsberry-Harvey said.
She's not done, though. Saulsberry-Harvey has plans to feed the hungry and homeless in Chicago on Jan. 4.
"Giving back, volunteering, being a blessing for someone else gives me strength, peace and inspiration," she said.