My husband and I are involved in a small group (a life group, if you will) that has been talking for far to long about various options on how we could give something back in our community. The answer to the questions “what” to give back and “how” really alluded us and we never really found anything that “fit” our group as a whole. We could volunteer at a soup kitchen… But, I worked with benevolence distribution for many years, knew some of the people we would meet there in this small town, and was not willing to expose my family to the possible (and dare I say probable) risks there. We could do something in our neighborhoods, and I’m sure we eventually will, but there aren’t currently any needs that stand out too us. Oh, we help each other; we’ve volunteered to help around the church (not trying to downplay the importance of this), but most of what we’ve done hasn’t hit that special, sweet spot in our hearts as a group. But, all of that is about to change!
You see, one of the Families in the group have a toddler that was born with a hole in her heart which sent them on a 2-2.5 year journey. But, their active, little toddler had never known that she had a condition that would need corrected after her second birthday, and no one who met her would be able to guess her need for surgery was genuine. After the arrival of her second birthday the doctors began taking steps to plan and schedule a surgery. When the date finally arrived, the family traveled to the doctor’s children’s hospital of choice and began another long journey. What should have been a quick in and out hospital stay, and a week or so of healing ended up being about month total spent in the hospital. The father took as much time off as he dared, but had to return to work before the time in the hospital was over. One of the grandmother’s was able to be there to help during the hospital stay, though – a true blessing! And, all the while the family was able to save money by not staying at a hotel; instead, they were able to stay at the local Ronald McDonald House! The people, the Families, the workers that they met all made such an impact that it didn’t take long as a group for us to agree that this is at least one place where we definitely want to give back!
So, this past Sunday afternoon we prepared a meal we could provide the Families staying at our own local R.M.H. and it was something we were all excited about doing.
Image borrowed from: http://www.rmhc.org/home
I’ve known the basics about the Ronald McDonald House for some time, but I never knew enough to feel fully schooled in everything they offer. Not that I am schooled yet, but I know so much more now than before. R.M.H. is made up of a LOT of volunteers that each spend at least 4-6 hours of their week dedicated to working the desk, caring for their guests, and doing a small list of housekeeping for their shift. The hotel like rooms are a perfect getaway for those stressed by hospital life and there is plenty if sleeping options available for the larger Families and even rooms with cribs for those who need them! The rooms are beautiful! For their convince, the guests have access to a laundry room and each room has an assigned fridge and pantry in the House kitchen, plus the community fridge and pantry. What a beautifully, wonderful organization it is, and there is so much more I could tell!
Giving back to your local community is so important. It can take some time to find something that works best for you, your family, or your group, but once you find it, the good feelings just keep coming. Whether the lives you touch are a family of one or ten families of twelve, the new people you end up meeting could become very near and dear to your heart. But even if they don’t, the experience can still change your life. You will never know until you get out there though. There are so many ways you can be a blessing to others, and so many needs needing meet! The beauty really is, that it can be something as simple as mowing the lawn for the elderly – it doesn’t matter, as long as you are giving of yourself and you feel the blessing as a result. So, start looking around at the opportunities in your own community, and start taking steps to work towards some way you can give back. Sometimes, just one simple act of love and care can make all the difference in the life of another!