So Many Ways to Volunteer

by Emily on April 17, 2012

I know there are a thousand and one ways to volunteer with various organization but I wanted to share a wonderful experience I had over the weekend.  One of my student’s decided that she wanted to do a toilet paper drive for the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle.  Toilet paper you might ask, but we learned that over the three houses plus common areas, the RMCD house actually stocks nearly 150 rolls a day.  That’s a lot of TP and a lot less money to spend on other things.  So this wonderful TP drive at school meant that a group of us got to deliver the goods and spend a couple of hours learning more about the Ronald McDonald House.

What is the Ronald McDonald House you ask?  It’s essentially a “home away from home” for families living more than 45 miles from Seattle who need a place to stay/live while their seriously ill children get the care they need at Seattle Children’s Hospital.  Most families come from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, California and Washington to get their care.  We learned that many families are given a very short amount of time to pack their bags and jump the next flight to get care immediately.  Many don’t really pack much besides a backpack and this is their way to get everything else they could possibly need from “home.”  Here’s a little video that helps to explain (warning, tearing up occurs often during this quick video).

And talk about an incredible facility!  There are several wonderful common areas where visitors can come, therapy dogs visit and in every nook and cranny, some wonderful toys to serve the most important little ones receiving care.  There are beautiful play areas with pool tables, air hockey, little cars and wagons that children can ride in and some  very cool climbing accessories, not to mention a full outdoor playground! Oh did I mention a full theatre for movie night?  So cool…completely donated and furnished by Rashard Lewis of the Sonics.

There are so many ways to help in a house(es) this size.  You can volunteer for movie night, make cookies, prepare the family meals, volunteer to drive the van, events volunteer, room check volunteer or help the facilities manager with various tasks that she has.  That’s what we did…we were asked to spend our time cleaning out one of the Bone Marrow Transplant apartments after a family successfully was able to move home.  Talk about a big job!  It was so rewarding and so wonderful to watch the students focus on their task of cleaning every square inch of the living room dining room and start on the kitchen in just under 2 hours time.  They worked silently and when I asked if everyone was feeling okay, they said “Yes, they just really want to do a good job.”

I think we all left the RMCD house feeling happy to have helped, wanting to do more and an entirely new appreciation for what it takes to run a home like that.  I look forward to seeing our connection grow with the Seattle house and hope to be able to share more wonderful experiences!

If you want to know how you can help your local house click here

If you’d like to donate, you can do an online donation or review the wish list here of things they NEED…

Happy hearts!

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