Staff Updates for Volunteers

If you’ve volunteered at our Houses or Family Rooms recently, you may have seen a few new faces or some familiar faces in new roles. We hope you’ll give them all a warm welcome or congratulations the next time you volunteer!

A woman wearing a maroon top and black sweater sits in front of a fireplace. Westyn Garber, Volunteer Services Manager West Region

Westyn joined RMHC-CNI in February 2022, and she manages all of our fantastic volunteers at the House near CDH, the House near Loyola, and the Family Room inside Edward Hospital.

Fun Fact: I am SCUBA certified and one day I hope to have the opportunity to dive the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. In all the years I have had my certification, I haven’t visited anywhere that I can use it…yet.

Why work for RMHC-CNI? As a 12-year-old, I found myself sick and in the hospital. Luckily, it wasn’t for too long, my family did not need to utilize Ronald McDonald House resources and I remained healthy thereafter. When searching for a position that would keep me in the Chicago area permanently, I wanted to give back to an organization that does so much for so many people. After accepting the job, I learned my grandmother volunteered for a RMH many years ago, in the Pittsburgh area. It was destined!

A woman in a pink dress stands in front of a stone wall.Caitlin Nelson, House Manager RMH near Advocate

Caitlin joined RMHC-CNI in a little over a year ago. She transitioned to her current role of House Manager at the Ronald McDonald House near Advocate Children’s Hospital in February of 2022.  In her position, Caitlin is the point person for all individual volunteers and TAC members, while also supporting families and operations at that location.

Fun Fact: I love to travel and one of my favorite places to visit is Maui, Hawaii.

Why work for RMHC-CNI? In my last semester at ISU I was an intern at the new Ronald McDonald House in Peoria. I loved the days I was at the House, but due to the pandemic I had to finish my internship from home. I got involved with the charity again, but now the Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana chapter, as an overnight manager a little over a year ago, but once a day position opened up I jumped at the chance to take on more responsibility!

A woman with dark brown hair and wearing a pink shirt smiles at the camera.Allie DiFrancesca, Associate Director

Through her nearly 10 years with the Charity Allie has served in a variety of roles, most recently as a part of the team at the House near Lurie. Next month Allie will transition to her new role as the Associate Director for hospital-based programs in the downtown region.

Fun Fact: I was ranked one of the top ten water polo players in Illinois my junior and senior years of high school. I grew up swimming and always loved being in the water. I continued to swim and play water polo through my college years. I have two little girls and can’t wait to get them into swimming lessons this summer!

Why RMHC-CNI for you? The families we serve, I have been fortunate enough to spend time with several RMHC-CNI families during my nearly ten years with the Charity. All it takes though really, is just one family’s story to understand the remarkable impact RMHC-CNI programs and services can make during such a challenging time in their life. I am grateful to be one small part of this incredible mission.