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June 30th, 2023
I’ve been volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House® for about a year now, and it’s one of the most rewarding experiences. I’ve had the opportunity to meet families going through some of the most challenging times, and offering them a little hope is extremely rewarding.
One of my love languages is food and sharing my love of food with others. There is something special about the smell of something delicious in the oven that fills the air with warmth and happiness. Recently, I volunteered to bake cinnamon rolls and assisted Chef Gregory León, owner of local restaurant Amilinda, in cooking dinner for all the families staying at the House. Hearing the stories, struggles and how this small gesture made their whole week was humbling. This small gesture brought so many smiles to the faces of the children and made a huge difference with many of the parents and caretakers.
While in the kitchen, I heard some of the families’ stories. They told me about their children’s illnesses, their extended stays in the hospital and some of the financial challenges they’ve faced. It was an eye-opening experience and made me realize how fortunate I am. One gentleman even commented that the cinnamon rolls reminded him of his mother, which prompted a fun conversation about how I would bake the same recipe every Christmas morning with my mom.
Volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House® can be challenging. Sometimes I see families going through so much pain, which can be heartbreaking. But even on those days, I know this House is making a difference, helping keep families together during a difficult time, and giving them hope.
If you’re looking for a way to give back to our community or donate to a fantastic cause, I highly recommend RMHC® Eastern Wisconsin. It’s a wonderful organization that does so much good, and it’s a great way to make a difference in the lives of families who could be your neighbors, coworkers, friends and others in desperate need of your support.
My favorite quote by J.R.R. Tolkien is “Even the smallest person can change the course of history.” I know the small part I play in volunteering doesn’t cure anyone, but every small piece we offer makes a bigger difference in the lives of others.
-Matt Peschke, RMHC Eastern WI Board Member