Being a volunteer. Do we really know what our time means to someone else when volunteer our time? Sometimes I think we take for granted what some people do. Not that we do it on purpose, but we all get busy with our own lives. Things happen.
For example, think of all the people it takes to run a single church. There are only a few paid positions. The pastor. The church secretary. Maybe one or two associate pastors. If the church is big enough, a youth pastor. But that might be about it. Think about the Deacons and Deaconesses. The Sunday School teachers. The ones who are in the nursery. Wednesday night kid’s programs. Event coordinators. And so much more. These are people who freely give of their time so that others can worship.
And then I think of hospitals and all the people who aren’t paid. The ones who are there to help family and friends visiting patients. And then of course the patients themselves.
I’m curious how many people really know about the Ronald McDonald house and what they do. I know I didn’t. I had no clue. I knew it was a charity.
I got to have a first hand account of what this very special place is all about. Unfortunately, it was because of Mari having gone to her forth and final hospital that we were offered the ability to stay at the Ronald McDonald house if we wanted to. It was only a couple of blocks away from Children’s Memorial Hospital on the north side of downtown Chicago whereas we lived about an hour away.
The house was huge. It has three stories plus a full basement. It had several bedrooms on each floor to house the different families who were in need of a place to stay. It was anything fancy. Two twin beds. A dresser. Bedding and pillows. Everything you’d need to sleep and get dressed with. Each floor had one to two single service bathrooms that had a shower, sink and toilet. There was common areas with TV’s, electronics, games and toys. Then there was an enormous kitchen, a type of kitchen every woman would love, or man if he likes to cook.
Then something that I think is one of the most special things that happened there are these volunteers. I’m not talking about people who didn’t have anything else to do or high school or college students. I’m talking about people who worked all day for a living. What they’d do is come to the house for lunch and dinner, and bring all the food needed to do it, and cook everyone in the house food. They came from all sorts of business from around the area. It was their way of being able to give back because they knew if a family was in that house they had a sick child of some kind. I am so very thankful for what this house did for us.