When I first walked into Ronald McDonald House® to chat with Kristin, the Volunteer Services Manager, about a position I had no idea what a wonderful place it was. All I knew about it was the commercials I had seen on TV and the occasional news story, and I was interested in volunteering for a few reasons.

Barb volunteering in the Guest Services Office.

Firstly, I had time. After leaving my full time job of 26 years and raising two boys who are now in their late teens I had time to do something I was always interested in but never felt I had time to do. If I had known how flexible Ronald McDonald House® was I would have signed up years ago!

Secondly, I was looking to gain experience in something new for when I was ready to start looking for a new job.

Thirdly, I had always found in my previous job the most rewarding times for me were when I could help people in difficult situations and make things a little bit easier for them, so this seemed like a good fit for me.

Finally, having grown up with a brother who had a chronic illness, I knew how hard it was on the child, caregivers, and siblings. Every act of kindness and support given were so important and helpful.

On my first day I was immediately struck with how “homey” RMHCNA felt. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming. There were families visiting in the kitchen, a volunteer group making lunch, kids playing, and staff chatting with caregivers. I knew right then that this was the place for me!

It is now about three months later and I can honestly say that it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I have two positions in the House: Front Desk and Hospitality Host. I enjoy both very much, have learned a lot, and gained valuable experience. I have met many wonderful people from fellow volunteers to the many incredibly strong and resilient families.

I have had the opportunity to talk with many caregivers who are either staying in the House or visiting with the Day Pass Program. One thing they have all said is how the House has helped make a stressful, scary situation just a little bit easier for them, and they don’t feel so alone on their journey. I think sense of community the House facilitates for families is what makes it so special.

I am so grateful I have the opportunity to be part of this great organization.