July 4th, 2017
We are proud to say that we have 8 volunteers that have been serving at the Ronald McDonald House since our doors opened in 1984. We will be celebrating our 33rd anniversary this year and the changes and improvements that this group has witnessed to meet the ever-changing needs of our families is impressive.
In 2016, we established the 1,000 Hour Club to recognize the efforts of our volunteers that give so generously of their time and talents. One of our new “club” members is John Fink, who has been a dedicated volunteer since 1984. John was working for The Wisconsin Telephone Company at the time the House opened and their volunteers, The Pioneers, made the commitment to provide van drivers for the House. He signed up and is still here driving on the first and third Saturdays of each month. John enjoys driving the new families so they can have an opportunity to ask questions that have come up and he can reassure them that any logistical concerns they have we can easily accommodate. John appreciates the conversations that he and the families engage in during the short rides to and from the hospital. “Many are so focused of their child that they are exhausted when they get into the van. When I ask where home is or how was your day, they seem to take a breath and enjoy a diversion from what they are experiencing at the hospital.” John’s most memorable moments are the times when he has driven the same family on several occasions and he learns that their child has recovered and they have returned home.
What our volunteers, like John and many others, do for the House and the families that are staying with us is indescribable. The typical things you would think of such as providing transportation to and from the hospital, office work, cleaning our guest rooms, beautification of the Secret Garden, supporting special events, and maintaining our kitchens are all supported by our volunteers. However, the little moments that touch our families the most include the time a volunteer takes to say hello to their child, offers tissues to dry their eyes, or provides a listening ear for a few minutes as they decompress. A past family says it best when they expressed their appreciation. “The house holds a special place in our hearts-and in our lives. We would like to express our gratitude to all those who work tirelessly to make the house a reality. Without them, and all of you who make the house a home for families like us, we wouldn’t have a place that gave comfort to our girls or a place that cared for us, protected us and supported us during the hardest days and weeks of our lives.”
We look forward to welcoming more volunteers into the 1,000 Hour Club in 2017 and many years to come. RMHC would not be where we are today without all of our dedicated volunteers!
Heather Egerer | Director of Volunteer Services