July Volunteers of the Month – Rob and Sharon Sampson

Rob and Sharon Sampson have volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House near Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital since the very beginning. Their personal volunteer story shares both why they first got involved, and what still keeps them coming back.

Sharon is a retired Pediatric RN and Rob is a retired airline pilot, and when we saw the Ronald McDonald House near Central DuPage Hospital being built we knew we were going to volunteer. We both feel that it is so important to give back to the community in which we live. We started volunteering at the House before it was even open! Rob helped bring in mattresses and build beds and lamps that were placed in the guest rooms. Sharon helped to fill kitchen cabinets and organize toy closets.

The House is a wonderful asset for families when their child is ill, and having it so close to the hospital and the Cancer Center makes it possible for families to be together, have a restful place to stay, not worry about family meals, and spend time with other families going through the same thing. If we can be there to help in any way during this process, it is very rewarding!

We have volunteered bi-monthly for the five years that the House has been open. Rob is quite good at home repairs and helps with House projects – Katie (Program Director for the RMH near CDH) refers to his work as “Rob Jobs”! We have also helped raise awareness of Ronald McDonald House Charities and the House near CDH at booths at community events, such as the Winfield Criterion, and we have given an awareness talk about the House at a local church.

We have also volunteered at the House’s Christmas party each December. At the annual party, all the previous residents of the House are invited and it is wonderful to see how the children have grown and recovered from their various illnesses. It makes your heart feel so good!