From Volunteer to Family Services

Hi there! My name is Megan Renner. I am a full-time, second shift Family Service Manager here at the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world. I work the busy second shift weekdays. I feel so blessed to be able to say that I work for this organization. My journey with the charity started in March of 2016 when I took a tour of the house while considering becoming a volunteer. I fell in love with this big House full of heart. I became a front desk volunteer, interacting with families full of questions and guests who were usually coming in to help the House in one way or another. In July of 2016 I felt fortunate to begin an internship with Family Services and interned until December of 2016 when I graduated from the Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. After graduation I began working at the house part-time as a Family Service manager on the weekends. The hours changed every other weekend. One weekend I worked overnights on Friday and Saturday and on the opposite weekend I worked Saturdays in the morning. I continued working these various part-time hours at the house for a little over a year, and loving the work I was doing every moment because it’s so satisfying knowing the ultimate purpose of my job: taking care of families with an ill child. This past February I was offered a fulltime position and felt that I could not pass it up! Around the same time that I began working part-time, I also became a member of our young professionals group that helps support the house. It is called the Red Shoe Society and throughout the year we put on a number of community events that help raise funds and awareness for the house.

Working at the house is fulfilling on so many levels. When you tell someone you work at Ronald McDonald many are quick to say things like “that must be so hard” or “that must be depressing” but honestly that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is one of the happiest places and I look forward to coming into work every day. Here at the house it’s the little things that have the biggest impact and I am so honored to be a part of it all. Second shift is not an ideal shift that many people would choose to take. That is also one of the busiest shifts in the house especially for check-ins. I like to stay busy so it works really well for me. There is not really an ordinary day in the house, which keeps me on my toes and the job interesting. During second shift I get to interact with the families a lot more than those Family Service Managers might on some of the other shifts. That is by far my favorite part. Every family that is staying here has a child that is either admitted in the hospital or is in town for outpatient appointments. It is interesting hearing where the families are from and every family’s story is different in some way. To be able to help a family even if it is just getting an extra pillow for them, or being an ear for them to vent to is self-fulfilling to me. It also brings me back to reality. My worries or problems seem so small in comparison.

Megan Renner, at the 24-hour Front Desk where she’s worn many hats.

My favorite story from the house is a time that I was behind the front desk. For those that do not know, we have a large plastic tub full of donated Beanie Babies that we sometimes pass out to the kiddos in the house which is located behind the front desk. A child was crying and a little upset that he had to be here. I offered to let him pick out one of the Beanie Babies from the tub. After he picked one out he instantly hugged me, said thank you, and it brought the biggest smile to his face and mine! I knew right then and there this is where I am supposed to be! Going from volunteering, to interning, to working part-time with families and working with other young professionals to support the House, to now working full-time with incredibly resilient children and parents, has touched me beyond words. If you are looking for a way to fulfill a need to help others, consider checking out our volunteer opportunities here:

Your involvement with the Ronald McDonald House may just end up being as fulfilling as mine!