August Volunteer of the Month – Alison Cohen
Meet our volunteers! Each month, we highlight stand-out volunteers and how they support families. For August, meet Alison Cohen, who has been involved as a Team Volunteer and now a Supply Transport Driver since January 2019.
- How long have you volunteered with Ronald McDonald House?
I’ve been volunteering for 4.5 years. I first started in January 2019.
- Where do you typically volunteer, and what do you usually do?
I started out as a Team Volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s. Then, when the COVID-19 pandemic happened, I began looking for opportunities to get involved outside of the Ronald McDonald House. When the supply transport driver position became available, I immediately jumped at the opportunity!I have been in this role since December 2021. During my shifts I drive supplies between the RMHC-CNI locations throughout Chicagoland to make sure that each Ronald McDonald House and Family Room has everything they need to make each family feel cared about.
- Why did you first start volunteering with Ronald McDonald House, and what keeps you coming back?
I originally got involved with Ronald McDonald House because I was taking classes to become a Child Life Specialist and I needed volunteer hours to complete my course requirements. However, I have long since completed my courses and have gone back into teaching. Although I no longer “need” to volunteer, I keep coming back because I believe very deeply in the importance of keeping families together when a child is experiencing a hospital stay.I completely support the mission and I am proud to play a small part in taking care of the families and children who are served by RMHC-CNI.
- What is your favorite memory or experience from volunteering?
Back when I volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s, I remember taking kids into the toy closet after their family had checked in to stay. Without fail, the children’s faces would light up and their eyes would get very wide when I told them they could pick out anything they wanted. I had to reassure one child multiple times that he could really have any toy he wanted and that he could keep it forever. Nothing compares giving a child a bright moment during a very challenging time.
- What does it mean to you to donate your time to our organization?
I feel grateful to have the opportunity to volunteer with RMHC-CNI. I have seen the tremendous impact that a warm meal and a friendly face can have on a family going through a challenging time. I am proud to play even a small part in supporting these families and this wonderful organization.
- If someone was thinking about becoming a volunteer with our organization, what would you tell them about getting involved?
There are so many ways to get involved. From driving supplies between locations to donating meals, there are opportunities for everyone to get involved. The staff are incredibly kind and appreciative, and your impact is undeniable. I encourage anyone thinking about volunteering with RMHC-CNI to get involved!
Thank you, Alison for your contributions to helping families feel at home!