November Volunteer of the Month – Ulises Cardenas
Meet our volunteers! Each month, we highlight stand-out volunteers and how they support families. For November, meet Ulises Cardenas, who has been a member of our Teen Advisory Council for two years.
- How long have you volunteered with Ronald McDonald House?
I’ve been volunteering as part of the Teen Advisory Council (TAC) supporting the Ronald McDonald House near Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn for about two years.
- Where do you typically volunteer, and what do you usually do?
I’m currently a Vice President for the TAC supporting the Ronald McDonald House near Advocate Children’s Hospital. In this officer role I provide leadership to other TAC members, and help the group meet our goals of raising awareness, growing community support and earning service/volunteer hours to help the organization. As a TAC member I also have the opportunity of volunteering on-site at the Ronald McDonald House. During those shifts I help in a variety of ways, including cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry and helping any families staying at the House. Beyond that, another initiative I really enjoy participating in is collecting pop tabs! I do this with the help of my family to benefit RMHC-CNI, and my work with this was even recently highlighted by some local news stations.
- Why did you first start volunteering with Ronald McDonald House, and what keeps you coming back?
I started volunteering with RMHC-CNI because my parents told me this organization was terrific. After learning about the nonprofit’s values, I wanted to join them on their journey to help others who need it the most. I continue to come back as a volunteer because I feel very loved and welcomed by everyone who is a part of RMHC-CNI. Also, helping others is something that I take pride in, so doing this volunteer work is something I love to do.
- What is your favorite memory or experience from volunteering?
My favorite experience with RMHC-CNI was when my family and I cooked a meal at the House. We made pancakes, sausage, bacon, fruit plates, and more. It was a wonderful experience as the food smelled amazing, and knowing that this would help others in a time of need was the cherry on top.
- What does it mean to you to donate your time to our organization?
Donating my time to help this organization means everything. I hate to waste time in my day, so doing something like this that I love is something I could do 24/7.
- If someone was thinking about becoming a volunteer with our organization, what would you tell them about getting involved?
If someone wanted to get involved, I would highly encourage them to do so. Personally, I believe RMHC-CNI has changed me for the better as I understand how to work with others and give respect to everyone that I encounter. Also, volunteering and being part of this charity is amazing as you’re stepping into an organization that truly cares about your well-being. Everyone who is part of RMHC-CNI wants to see each other strive for the best, so if you would like to be a part of an environment and family that wants to see you succeed, join this organization!
Thank you, Ulises for your contributions to helping families feel at home!