The theme of this year’s National Volunteer Appreciation Week is “Volunteering is empathy in action”, and no one shows that more than the volunteers at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama (RMHCA). Keep reading to see why volunteers give their time to RMHCA and find out how you can support families with sick children.
Volunteers are the “heartbeat of the Ronald McDonald House” ❤️
Parents of sick children have enough to worry about, from finding the right treatments for their kids to growing hospital bills. Something that doesn’t need to be on their list of concerns? Driving long hours or being away from their kids while they’re in the hospital. That’s where the Ronald McDonald House comes in.
At the Ronald McDonald House, families have a free place to stay just steps away from Children’s of Alabama and UAB, but the house isn’t just a place to sleep. Families enjoy community with one another and can take advantage of free meals provided by RMHCA volunteers. With the RMHCA meal program, volunteers contribute delicious meals, either made in the Ronald McDonald House kitchen or catered by local restaurants.
“It’s a really simple way to contribute on a large scale, because you’re typically serving at least 50 people when you prepare a meal at the House. These people have been sitting by their children’s bedsides for the entire day or have been in and out of doctor’s appointments with their children all day. When they come back to the house and have a hot meal waiting for them, I think it provides more than you can even imagine.”Jessica Porterfield, Junior Board Member, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama
Plus, volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House helps you become closer with your community. Companies, church groups, families and more are encouraged to form a group and sign up to serve meals as volunteers.
“There’s nothing much harder than seeing a sick child. We oftentimes take our children’s health for granted.”Barry Brown, Protective Life
Welcome back to the House! 🏠
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, meal service at the House has been limited to volunteers dropping off catered meals. While this is an essential help, it’s exciting to see that now, the House is slowly opening back up to volunteers.
For families at the House, the meals are an important time to relax and talk with each other and volunteers—whether they talk about their child’s current treatments or decide to get their minds off things by talking about anything but.
“There’s something about breaking bread and having community that makes life seem a little less stressful. That’s what this meal program does for these families who are struggling.”Doug Moore, Board Member, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama
How you can get involved 👇
Now that you know how exactly volunteering with RMHCA impacts lives for the better, find out how you can get involved.
- Learn more about volunteering as a group.
- Learn more about volunteering as an individual.
- Apply for the student leadership council by May 6. The student leadership council is open to rising juniors and seniors in high school.
- Contact the RMHCA volunteer coordinator, Andy Bishop by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 205.638.7372.
“We are so grateful for all the volunteers who supported our mission throughout the pandemic. There were so many who have stepped into new roles from afar to make sure our families felt loved and supported. We have missed seeing them around the halls of the House and are so excited to start slowly bringing them back in to serve our guest families hot meals. Thank you on behalf of our Board of Directors, staff and especially the families who call the Ronald McDonald House their home away from home.”Katherine Estes Billmeier, CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama