Hello, Central Ohio! I’m excited and honored to be writing this blog from inside the Ronald McDonald House, a 120,000 square-foot facility serving nearly 5,000 families each year, as its new Communications Manager.
Since the first day I began covering Columbus news as a reporter back in 2007, I always held a special place in my heart for Ronald McDonald House Charities and its Ronald McDonald House. As a mother, I could relate to what families staying in the House were going through.
I remember the day I had to rush my child to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital emergency room after she tripped on a flipped-up rug and tore her forehead open above her eye on the corner of a table. Suddenly, I was that parent, sitting in the emergency room, alone, waiting to see if my kid would be OK. I felt the helplessness of not knowing, of waiting, of wondering, of worrying; but I was lucky. I lived in Columbus, Ohio, where I was privileged to have access to the best healthcare my child could ever receive at Nationwide Children’s. Where I could easily make arrangements for work, for groceries, for assistance, for anything I needed.
Some families are not so lucky.
Families from every state in the union and across the world have traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to give their child the same care I received at Nationwide Children’s and other area hospitals ~ the best care. And when they find out it will take weeks, or months, or years, to help their child, where do they go? Where does someone from California stay when they’re thousands of miles from their home? How do they eat or get transportation? How do they do laundry? How do they find a sense of normalcy in a situation that is no longer normal?
They come to the Ronald McDonald House. They come to a place where they can live life, uninterrupted, during the greatest interruption they will ever face ~ a sick child.
I didn’t fully grasp that concept until I actually started volunteering for the House in 2012 as a member of its Red Shoe Society, before moving into making breakfasts for the families and financial donations, the, eventually, donating a video hosted on the RMHC website’s Home page. Through those experiences, I knew I wanted to be part of the organization ~ had to be, somehow, someway. I saw what the volunteers and the staff were doing with their lives, the way they were helping children and families in need, and I just knew I had to join in.
It is a dream come true.
And now, as the RMHC Communications Manager, I get to help Ryan Wilkins, the Director of Communications and Facilities, and all the RMHC team tell the RMHC story and more. To me, it is the greatest story I will ever write. It speaks to a calling in my life, a purpose, a mission, an opportunity to do more than a job. It is an opportunity to help change lives. To make them better. For parents just like me. For kids just like my daughter.