August 18, 2009
See the makeovers 3 members of our wonderful team were given by Macy’s Glamorama
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE MAKEOVER STORY ON ABC 7
Volunteers at Ronald McDonald House Care For Families in Crisis
Thursday, August 13, 2009
by Liz Logan
Volunteers are the heart of RMH, and the 4 houses in Chicagoland are constantly seeking volunteers to answer phones, check in families, prepare meals and lead activities such as art night for kids.
The closest RMH to the North Shore is in Lincoln Park at 622 West Deming Place. To find out more about volunteering with RMH, contact Anne Czarnecki at 773-348-5322 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ronald McDonald House houses thousands of families each year near hospitals where their children are being treated, sometimes for terminal conditions that send them back to the hospital again and again. The 4 houses provide meals, family activities and, perhaps most importantly, a place for families to crash at the end of long, trying, emotional days.
This year’s Macy’s Glamorama fashion show/concert headlined by the Grammy award-winning musician Ne-Yo and jazz trio The New Standards, on Friday, Aug. 21, will benefit RMH and particularly support its effort to build the world’s largest RMH, with 86 guest rooms, near the new location of Children’s Memorial Hospital downtown. As part of the festivities, Macy’s offered free makeovers to 3 dedicated RMH volunteers.
Make It Better caught up with the 3 while they were getting gussied up at Joseph Michael’s Salon and Spa downtown to get the lowdown what the charity means to them.
After spending several years living in Santiago, Chile, where she taught women handicrafts to impoverished women to help them make a living, M.A. Laguatan found RMH to be a perfect fit. “I wanted to keep doing direct service,” she says.
Laguatan is now senior director of programs and services for the RMH Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.
One of the most inspiring things about RMH, she says, is watching “the families become support for one another.” She is particularly proud to have been deeply involved with the planning of the recently completed RMH in Oak Lawn. “How many people can say they helped to build a Ronald McDonald House?” she says.
As a staffing leader in the customer support department of Southwest Airlines, Denny Linhares has been preparing monthly meals at the RMH in Hyde Park for 17 years. He gets his entire office involved, with people bringing in food and baking desserts. Then, he assembles a team that plans a menu, goes grocery shopping and prepares the meal. He’s very thankful that his company got him involved with RMH and continues to make his volunteer work possible.
His favorite part is “seeing the families take a break from their hectic day, relax a bit, and have a regular dinner”—and, also, being the master of the grill in the summer.
Heather McDonald started volunteering with RMH a year ago because of the organization’s “tremendous reputation in the community.”
“I’m inspired every time I go,” she says of RMH.
She started out as a “clutter cop,” tidying up various spaces around the house near Loyola University Medial Center in Maywood, Ill. She was quickly promoted to developing the monthly donor newsletter.
Having worked with RMH and other organizations that do “really cool work” since leaving the corporate world, all McDonald can say is, “I don’t want to go back to corporate.” She’s now looking for a job in the nonprofit sector.
Tickets for Macy’s Glamorama on Aug. 21 can be purchased through Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or at www.ronaldhousechicago.com.
Makeitbetter.net, “Volunteers at Ronald McDonald House Care For Families in Crisis,” 08.14.09.