Heart and Soul

February 17th, 2021 | News

Volunteer, noun – Someone who contributes time, effort, and talent to meet a need or further a mission, without concern for monetary profit. Going beyond one’s basic obligation.

Before a shovel hit the ground nearly three decades ago, a compassionate crew of volunteers imagined what RMHC-Madison could be for families facing a child’s medical crises far from home.  The House was built on the idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on the health and wellbeing of their child.

With more than 377 chapters worldwide, each community lends a unique quality to its House.  Volunteers help keep doors open so families have a safe and warm place to arrive, sometimes in the middle of the night, without so much as a toothbrush. A medical crisis is rarely planned.  They arise whether a family has the financial or emotional support to weather the storm. That is the job of RMHC and its volunteers.

So, you can imagine the impact 2020 had on RMHC-Madison.  Every one of us experienced challenges we never thought possible. Yet one of the challenges we felt most deeply was the loss of our beloved volunteers. They are the heart and soul of our programs, and the pandemic provided a deep appreciation for those who give their time and talents freely to serve our families.

This month, we are excited to welcome back a few more essential volunteers and meal groups at the Ronald McDonald House!

In a year like no other, you – our donors and friends – stepped in to fill the gap.  You helped provide:

  • 6,519 nights of care for families at our House and Family Room.
  • Medical care for 28 children through our Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program before the program was suspended in March 2020 due to COVID-19.
  • Thousands of meals and hotel stays for families, providing comfort and keeping them fueled for their most challenging days.

Despite these achievements, we continue to feel the far-reaching impacts of this global pandemic. Our COVID-19 safety precautions related to families, in-person volunteering, and donation deliveries are still in place. Currently, only essential volunteers and small meal groups are able to lend their helping hands and family guests are limited to parents (or a parent and support adult) with no visitors.

We look forward to the days when we can fully reinstate our volunteer program and open our doors completely to families, but we know these restrictions allow us to continue safely serving families who need us now. Thank you to all our friends who ensure our services remain available. We know 2021 will present new challenges, but we know we can meet them together.