January Volunteer of the Month – Don Hoff
Meet our volunteers! Each month, we highlight stand-out volunteers and how they support families. For January, meet Don Hoff, who makes a big impact as a Team Volunteer and Community Ambassador. Read his personal volunteer story below.
I first started volunteering at Ronald McDonald House almost two years ago. Prior to actually volunteering, I was aware of the work that RMHC-CNI did and helped to support that work with financial donations. However, after I retired, I wanted get more involved beyond just donating money. So, I began to look into what was required to become an individual volunteer.
After I filled out the application and completed the orientation session, I started my twice monthly shifts at the Ronald McDonald House near Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital. The types of things I do at the House are varied and include: general housekeeping, laundry, getting rooms ready for new families, cleaning the kitchen, restocking cabinets and refrigerators, outside weeding and watering during the spring and summer months, and any other normal maintenance and tasks that need doing.
In June of 2023 I decided to further my volunteerism and applied to become a Community Ambassador. As a Community Ambassador, I help raise awareness of and support for RMHC-CNI by representing the organization at various community-based events and activities. I meet with different groups and share with them the mission and values of RMHC-CNI, as well as educate them about how to get involved. Since becoming a Community Ambassador, I have met with members of the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority Alumni group at their monthly meeting in September, oversaw an informational table at the “Hockey Fights Cancer” night at a Chicago Blackhawks game in November, and participated at the “Stuff the Truck” toy donation drive sponsored by the Burbank Police Department and Liberty Junior High School in Burbank in December.
I truly enjoy my volunteer work with RMHC-CNI. My family has been very blessed and because of that, I wanted to do something to help those families who are going through rough times. The thing that keeps me coming back is the dedicated and fun staff and volunteers at the House near CDH. I feel like I am part of a team that genuinely embodies the mission of ‘helping families get better together’.
So far, my favorite experience has been decorating the House for the year-end holidays. It’s a great feeling to be able to provide the families who are staying there with a little bit of holiday magic while they are away from their homes.
By donating my time to RMHC-CNI, I feel that I am, in some small way, helping to make the lives of families with sick children a little more bearable. These families have a lot on their minds and their focus needs be on their children. By helping to provide them with a clean, cheerful and friendly place to stay while their children are in the hospital, then that is one less thing they have to worry about.
To anyone who is thinking about becoming a volunteer with RMHC-CNI, I would tell them to get started as soon as possible. However you choose to volunteer, I’m sure you will find that you get back much more than you give. It has been a very rewarding experience for me.
Thank you, Don for your contributions to helping families get better together!