August Volunteer of the Month – Debbie Petropoulos
Meet our volunteers! Each month, we highlight a stand-out volunteer (or two) and how they support families. For August, meet Debbie Petropoulos, who brings her amazing talents and commitment to volunteer in a variety of ways.
- How long have you volunteered with RMHC-CNI?
I have been volunteering since 2016.
- Where do you volunteer and what do you do?
For the last four years, I’ve volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s Hospital. I’ve also volunteered at the annual Sporting Clays Tournament, and I share the RMHC mission in my community by collecting pop tabs from local networks and businesses.
- Why did you first start volunteering with RMHC?
I started volunteering with the organization because I personally experienced the mission. I stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati when my daughter was pregnant with twins. Specialized surgery was required to save the twins’ lives due to complications with Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). The twins were born three months prematurely and weighed only 1lb 9oz and 1lb 6oz. It was a life changing experience.So, I began volunteering for RMHC after retiring from my corporate job and starting a life coaching business to help other professionals experiencing significant transition and challenge in their careers and lives.
- What is your favorite memory or experience from volunteering?
My favorite volunteering experience was meeting one of the people responsible for Doors of Hope, which raised funds to support House operations and serving families. When I give tours of the Lurie House, the Doors of Hope display is always a wonderful reminder of hope and healing for families who enter RMHC doors every day.My other favorite memory is taking a little redheaded boy to the toy closet to select a toy while his family was checking in to the House. I loved seeing his face light up when he chose a pony with long ‘pink’ hair. I just love the unexpected moments of joy at RMHC!
- What does it mean to you to donate your time to RMHC-CNI?
As a career and life coach, when I host “Create Your Best Life” workshops I always share my personal experience with RMHC and the importance of the organization’s mission to help families get better together. Donating my time to RMHC-CNI is my way of giving back and paying it forward to support the families the organization serves.I’ve experienced what it’s like to come through the RMHC doors at the end of a long day at the hospital with your loved ones. RMHC is truly a “home away from home,” and I am forever grateful for the blessing of my beautiful granddaughters. Volunteering at RMHC serves as a wonderful reminder of the power in hope, love and support when it’s needed the most!
Thank you Debbie for your continued dedication and commitment!