'Head Elf' volunteer helps children at University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital

December 27, 2018 07:46 PM

Spending the holidays in the hospital can be scary for kids. But thanks to a Minnesota man, time spent at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital is a little more merry and bright.

His official title is volunteer, but to many of the young patients and families Claire Stolee is much more.


Stolee started volunteering his time at the hospital when he retired from the health care industry.

More from KSTP: 

Teen patient turns volunteer at Children's Minnesota

"It's just a privilege to be able to be there and let them hold your finger," Stolee said. 

Stolee has been working eight hour shifts daily through the holidays – tending to his patients and sorting toys for distribution. His coworkers call him the "head elf", but many of his patients and their families believe he's an angel.

Stolee said he developed a personal connection with the hospital when a friend's child underwent several surgeries there. Stolee said the compassion he witnessed from the people who work there made him want to take part and help make a difference.

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Jackie Cain

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