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- How To Help▼
- Guest Families▼
September 7th, 2023
My journey with Ronald McDonald House Charities® Eastern Wisconsin began in 2018 when a friend invited me to attend an open house in the “Secret Garden” and take a tour of the facilities. Even though the House is located in my neighborhood, and I knew good things were happening there, I had never visited myself. Little did I know that accepting this invitation would lead to a profound connection with the House and its mission, ultimately leading me to join the Board. Here’s how I found my purpose at this crown jewel of Wauwatosa.
Intrigued by my friend’s invitation, I explored RMHC Eastern Wisconsin in 2018. As I walked through the Secret Garden on a beautiful summer afternoon and toured the facilities, I was immediately struck by the atmosphere of warmth and compassion at the House. The House wasn’t just a building, but a haven of hope and support for families facing unimaginable challenges.
The mission of RMHC Eastern Wisconsin, “to keep families together and promote the health and well-being of children,” resonated with me on a profound level. It is not just a mission statement but a commitment to creating a nurturing environment where families can find solace and strength during their most trying times. This mission, coupled with the dedication of the staff and volunteers, has left a lasting mark on my heart.
My journey with RMHC Eastern Wisconsin continued beyond that initial visit. I was drawn to contribute, so I began volunteering regularly and eventually became the head of the Development Committee. This role allows me to play an active part in fund and friend-raising efforts to help the House in its vital work by expanding our network and connecting people to the mission.
At the end of 2021, I received an invitation that humbled me by being asked to join the Board of Directors. It was an opportunity to contribute on a broader scale and help shape an organization’s future that has become an important part of my life.
Throughout my journey, I have been consistently amazed by the staff and their incredible work for the families staying at the House. Their dedication, compassion and tireless efforts to provide comfort and support to these families are truly inspiring.
Recently, I had the privilege of coordinating a quarterly volunteering session with about 30 of my colleagues from BMO Bank. Together, over two shifts, we made “Lunch-2-Go” kits, deep cleaned the Play Room and Art Room, and worked on various tasks such as cleaning and moving items from the parking structure inside and sorting donations. It was heartwarming to see my colleagues discover this hidden gem in our own backyard and be moved by the experience.
My journey with RMHC Eastern Wisconsin has been a testament to the power of compassion and community. What began as a simple invitation to an open house has led to a long-term commitment to a place that has found a special place in my heart.
Please consider learning more about the House by attending the upcoming Puttin’ on the Ritz Gala, our largest annual fundraising event, held in a few weeks on Saturday, September 30 at Northwestern Mutual. Or, please accept an invitation from me and the staff to tour the House in Wauwatosa!
Bob Lehr, RMHC Eastern Wisconsin Board Member