It's true that we couldn't operate this House without each and every volunteer who walks in our doors. Each individual contribution of time touches the lives of so many. April is Volunteer Appreciation Month and as we celebrate ALL of our volunteers, we'd like to spotlight Shirley Drennan who's been with us since January 1987!
Shirley's commitment to this House and the enormous impact her contributions have made over the last 24 years have left us without words enough to express our gratitude.
Shirley started out working a typical volunteer shift -- one day a week for a few hours. She worked the front desk, drove the van, and even folded laundry. As the years went by and the House grew so did Shirley's volunteer commitment. In October 2009 Shirley started coming in daily 9 – 3 to help us get ready for the big move to our new House. She was instrumental in making that move run as smoothly as possible. We had been in that House for over 20 years so you can imagine all the sorting, tossing, boxing, and storing that took weeks of her time.
We have been in the new House for over a year now and on most days, during the week and some weekends, you'll find Shirley here. An organizer by trade, she spends her time restocking the kitchens, supplying the janitorial closets, sorting through donations, labeling food items by expiration date... well you get the idea.
Shirley's diligence makes it possible for everyone to walk into a meticulously maintained supply room and kitchen and go right to what they need. She maintains an up-to-date inventory keeping us mindful of what we have in our refrigerators, freezers, and pantries so nothing is wasted. And she has a smile and hug for everyone that walks into the room.
If you equate her volunteerism into dollars and cents using the Volunteer Time Formula from Independent Sector, it would come to more than $45,000 a year just for her time alone. When asked why she continues to come in day after day she replied, "well, I feel needed". She is right. Shirley is needed not only for what she contributes to the day to day operations of this House but for the friend she has become to all of us. Her friendship is priceless.
Thank you Shirley! You know we couldn't do it without you!
The Teen Board Throws Great Parties!
The RMHD Teen Board is made up of 60 area teens and exists to assist the House in meeting its mission of serving families with seriously ill or injured children. They are involved in a variety of activities that can range from putting hospital care kits together for our guests to throwing a fabulous party here at the House. Recently they threw a Mardi Gras party in February and in early April they hosted a Hawaiian Luau in our courtyard. These parties mean so much to our families because it gives them a reason to laugh and have a good time and forget for just a little while why they're here. Take a look at photos from the parties on our blog.
If you'd like to learn more about how you can get involved, visit our website frequently for information and to view permanent and temporary volunteer needs.
As we celebrate our 30th year at the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, we celebrate those who give their time to make a difference in the lives of others. Click here to read a story recently written for the SMU Daily to meet some of our families, staff and volunteers to learn why so many of our volunteers have been with us for years.
To read more about our families visit our website.