August Volunteer of the Month – Peg Majewski
Meet our volunteers! Each month, we highlight stand-out volunteers and how they support families. For August, meet Peg Majewski, who has been lending support to families in a variety of ways for more than 11 years.
- How long have you been an RMHC-CNI volunteer?
I became a volunteer when I retired in January 2011, after working at Market Day for 28 years. I loved my time at Market Day, so when I retired I wondered what I would do after working full time for so many years.
- Why did you first start volunteering with our organization?
Early into my retirement I happened to be playing bridge one evening with a friend who mentioned that her granddaughter had just been born with a very serious heart condition. This led to the baby being hospitalized in Oak Lawn for about three months. Thankfully, during that time, her family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House near Advocate Children’s Hospital so they were never too far away.My friend was amazed at how wonderful it was to be able to stay at that House. She bragged about the facility, the fact that meals were available, and more importantly that they were able to be so close to the new baby. I was very impressed with what she shared and decided that I would like to volunteer at a Ronald McDonald House. The closest location to me was the House near Loyola University Medical Center, in Maywood.
I applied to become an individual volunteer and asked what they would like me to do. Well, they told me one short word……LAUNDRY! Though I was a little surprised that this was what they requested, I believe that when you volunteer for an organization you do what they need. So, I agreed to do laundry (and certainly had the necessary experience from my own family of 5!).
A friend of mine was also interested in volunteering, so we went to the House once a week and did laundry or cooked meals. We had a great time working together, and we soon got to know a lot of the parents who were staying at the House. I wanted to do whatever I could to help those families, and the connections and memories I made with some of them will stay with me forever.
- What is your favorite part about volunteering, and what keeps you coming back?
Even now, 11 years after I started volunteering, it is very important to me that I continue to support the House. I love it there. I love helping people and recently, after COVID-19, I realized that the House needed more help with providing meals for the guest families. I told the staff that I would like to cook meals for families, and I even suggested making meals which could then be frozen for later use. I started this new project earlier in 2022 and enjoy doing this so much!As a widow, I only cook for one most of the time which isn’t much fun. So, I’ve really enjoyed planning the menus, doing the grocery shopping, and bringing the food to the House where I do all the cooking. I am not a gourmet chef, but I like to cook and haven’t gotten any complaints so far!
- What does it mean to you to donate your time to RMHC-CNI?
If anyone ever asked me what I do during my retirement, I put volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House at the top of my list. I love to cook, I love being with people, and I love having the opportunity to do something significant for others. It doesn’t have to be the most exciting job when you volunteer. The important thing is that you are donating your time for a good cause.
Thank you Peg for your contributions to helping families feel at home!