By: Tony Delisio
My first experience with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio was rather humbling. It happened over three years ago, when I joined other members of the Grove City Rotary Club in providing a “home-cooked” meal for families staying at The House. I thought I knew all about the Ronald McDonald House before this experience, but boy was I wrong. I honestly did not expect that it would impact me so greatly. I was able to see first-hand how this simple act of kindness (making a meal), made a difference to our families.
I realized that day that this would not be my last experience with this House. Dee Anders, RMHC Executive Director (and a former colleague of mine with the YMCA), made sure of this by encouraging me to come back and volunteer on a regular basis. Dee’s invitation stuck with me and the Ronald McDonald House was the first place I decided to volunteer upon my retirement.
When I retired, I was not prepared for the void that was now occurring in my life. For more than 32 years, I was blessed to go to work each day “to enable the dreams of others” as a staff member of the YMCA. By having fun, focusing on the needs of others and helping people feel welcome, my experience has taught me that everyone has value.
I am grateful for the Ronald McDonald House because not only did it give me the opportunity to “help families in their deepest time of need,” it has also filled me with a renewed sense of purpose. I have been volunteering at the front desk for almost a year and a half, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I hope that you will join me at the Ronald McDonald House and discover your own sense of purpose.