by Kate Ziegler
I manage the Volunteer Program at the Ronald McDonald House, and feel so fortunate to work the volunteers who make the house a Home for over 3,000 families each year. My relationship with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio began two and a half years ago when having extra free time prompted me to start volunteering. I was taking a tour of the House as part of the volunteer orientation process and couldn’t quite wrap my mind around the fact that over 300 regular volunteers run the 80 bedroom house with the support of only 12 full-time staff members. I realized during that first tour of the House that I was witnessing something magical.
The Ronald McDonald House embodies the philanthropic spirit of our community members. The families who stay at the House are far away from their own communities while they dealing with the stresses of having an ill child. The moment these families walk through our doors, they are surrounded by volunteers who want to make their day a little easier. A previous guest of the Ronald McDonald House put her experience with us into words:
“I am a mom of a special child. I am always caring for my daughter’s needs and I run a household. STRESS! For the first time in almost eight years, I don’t feel that stress. Here at the Ronald McDonald House, you take it all away. It’s quite a place. I can think, rest, and breathe. You have done so much for us I can never say ‘thank you’ enough. I feel so at home and cared for. I know I am not alone. It feels very nice to be cared for. Your kindness and love will stay with us (me) always. You have touched our lives in ways you will never know. Please keep caring, loving, providing and support each family the same way you have done for my family. I will be forever grateful to each and every one here at the Ronald McDonald House.”
Each and every day, my spirit is renewed by the people who volunteer at the Columbus Ohio Ronald McDonald House. By coming together and donating their time, our volunteers form a community around these families that are so far from home. I am so excited to see the kindness, love and support our volunteers will continue to give to our families as our Ronald McDonald House grows.
Working at the Ronald McDonald House has strengthened my love of my own community and I am so grateful to be surrounded by these wonderful people!